20 October 2015
RMT Press Office
RMT Continues with City Link Campaign as Directors Face Criminal Charges Next Month.
ON THE 5th and 6th November, three directors of logistics firm City Link - including the CEO and finance director- will come before the courts in Coventry over their failure to consult their workers in advance of the collapse of the company on Christmas Day 2014. If convicted, they face fines and the prospect of being struck off from working as directors elsewhere.
City Link union RMT is in no doubt that the prosecution is taking place partly as a result of tireless campaigning and forensic investigation by the union and its Parliamentary Group – keeping the issue in the media and unearthing information about what directors knew and what they decided and when.
The failure of union-led attempts to rescue the company was not helped by the directors refusing to be more open about their plans earlier. We now know that although staff were not notified until Christmas 2014 of the impending closure of City Link as early as 9 October directors were considering radical restructure - including closing down the company.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“Under the law an employer must consult about its “proposals” and must also consult while its plans are still at a formative stage. Despite representatives of City Link receiving legal advice on the need to consult, the company chose not to. It is for the courts to assess the directors’ role in that failure.
“Although the fact that the conduct of some of the directors of City Link is finally being scrutinised by the courts is welcome, the potential fines that they face - capped at £5,000 each - are paltry. This is specially so as the CEO was paid over £600,000 in the year to 29 December 2013 alone. Compare that to the financial position of workers thrown out of their jobs over Christmas, often owed thousands of pounds for unpaid work around the clock during the festive period when the company was already effectively insolvent
“It is inexcusable that individual workers, bogusly labelled as self-employed, will likely recover less than 2% of sums due. And it’s inexcusable that the state has had to pay out around £4 million, via the National Insurance Fund, to direct employees the company short-changed.
“RMT will continue to campaign for justice for our members and for the law to be tightened. It is scandalous that while the noose of the anti-union laws is being tightened by this Government, the regulation and penalties available to the most aggressive bandit capitalists remain so pitiful.”