Thursday, 28th August 2014

Ex-bakery workers win cash at tribunal

Eighteen former employees who lost their jobs when a Shropshire bakery chain closed have won a £100,000 payout after an employment tribunal.

Former staff at TO Fine Foods Ltd, which had stores in Wem, Whitchurch, Shawbury and Market Drayton, complained of not being paid for overtime for up to two years and receiving no redundancy pay when they lost their jobs.

Some of those affected told  Birmingham Employment Tribunal on Monday they carried on working overtime without pay to help keep the firm going.

They said they were promised payments would eventually be made but they never were and one employee even loaned one of his bosses money.

Former bakery workers Susan Carson, Roy Davies, Sandra Jones and Warren Williams attended the tribunal to make the compensation claims for themselves and on behalf of 14 others, including Valerie Gower, Helen James, Margaret Kidd, Amanda Field, Dorothy Jones, Joan Webster, Kevin Jones and Sybil Rawlings. The firm did not attend the hearing.

TO Fine Foods Ltd was a separate company created when the family behind the original TO Williams Ltd chain, founded in 1935, sold it to new operators in 2008. The new company went into liquidation last year.

Christine Morse from Shrewsbury Citizens Advice Bureau, who represented the claimants, said 26 employees had lost their jobs following the firm’s closure.

One worker told the tribunal he realised he had been silly to lend one of his bosses money, but though he would not get it back if he complained.