THREE lorry drivers are asking for their jobs back after a glass company was found to have unfairly dismissed them because of their membership of a trade union and support for its efforts to gain recognition in the workplace.
Mark Morrissey from Waverton, Robert Wysocki, formerly of Elton and Colin Hill, from Warrington, are awaiting the final outcome of an employment tribunal heard in November where Elton-based Quinn Glass lost the case.
Quinn had argued the redundancies were due to economic reasons, partly as a result of a downturn in the bottled beer market, but this was rejected by the panel.
Judge Dawn Shotter found the credibility of the plant’s site director Chris Spray and transport manager Brian Harrison ‘was in question in part’ and the panel ‘preferred the evidence given by the claimants’.
The tribunal found witness Paul Weaver, of Tarvin, a former Quinn HVG driver, to be ‘credible and honest’. He said Mr Harrison asked him to write an anti-union letter and be prepared to attend a hearing in London when the union put its case for recognition to the Central Arbitration Committee.
Claimant Mr Morrissey, 55, from Waverton, who led the fight against Quinn as the Unite union shop steward, said of the victory: “I am completely relieved at the fact we have been proved right that they were deliberately and blatantly out to get us.”
Mr Morrissey, who said he was ‘far from a union man’, felt compelled to stand up against the Quinn mentality of ‘you do just as you are told’.
“The management at that point would say ‘no, no, no’, no matter what it was. It was just a case of ‘that’s my rule, you will do it’. It’s back to the Victorian age,” he said.
Mr Morrissey had enjoyed the work but claimed there had been no pay rise since 2008 and the reason for forming the union in the first place was that drivers were not being paid when on holiday.
He added: “I have requested to go back and now it’s up to the company to make a decision. The new head of human resources there seems very professional.”
Fellow claimant Colin Hill, 52, from Warrington, said the whole process had been ‘very stressful’.
“I have got a wife and a 14-year-old daughter and my wife only works part-time. She’s panicking about what’s going to happen and where I am going to find another job because there are only agency jobs out there.”
A Quinn spokesman said: “Legal proceedings remain ongoing and we are therefore unable to comment on the matter until it has been concluded.”