Union welcomes cash boost for ex-workers

SUFFOLK: A shop workers’ union today welcomed a decision to give a cash windfall to former employees of a company which went into administration.

The Evening Star reported yesterday how nearly 300 former Co-op workers from across the region are set to receive a windfall of hundreds of thousands of pounds after the company stepped in to save the day.

Around 345 employees transferred from the Co-op in July 2009 when Vergo took over the running of 12 Co-op department and home stores in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

However, Vergo went into administration on May 7 this year and is now in the hands of Administrator MCR.

The shop workers union Usdaw welcomed the gesture by the Co-operative Group and the East of England Co-operative Society.

Sharon Ainsworth, Usdaw National Officer said: “I am extremely pleased that the Boards of both Co-ops have responded so positively to our representations on this issue.

“Despite the fact that the Societies have no legal responsibility for their former employees, they have taken a brave and not inexpensive decision that reflects the principles of the Co-op and will be much appreciated by our members.

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“While the ex-gratia payments will obviously be of great assistance to members at this very difficult time, this unprecedented gesture again highlights the failure of the law to protect workers in these situations.

I also very much welcome the Co-op’s decision to join Usdaw in calling for the Government to investigate how workers can be better protected when their employers go into administration.”

n Do you work for Vergo? Tell us what you think? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters @eveningstar.co.uk

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