Bathgate redundancy pay at risk
By Jonathan Davis
Workers sitting in at BL’s threatened truck plant at Bathgate, near Edinburgh, were told by the company yesterday that their action could cost them millions of pounds in lost redundancy payments unless it was ended soon. BL has made it clear that the above-average redundancy terms it is offering Bathgate’s 1,800 employcee will be withdrawn unless there is “orderly production” during the phased run-down of the plant over the next two years.
In a statement yesterday, Mr David Andrews, chief executive of Land-Rover-Leyland, BL’s Commercial vehicle division, confirmed that the special terms, which could be worth an extra £5,000 a man for some employees, would be withdrawn if the sit-in lasts long.
“The occupation of the factory cannot bring back orders, cash or work to Bathgate. All it can achieve if it continues is the early closure of the factory and the loss of redundancy payments,” he said.
“It will probably kill off chances of finding buyers for the factory.” BL’s management said it was anxious not to inflame the situation, however, and made clear yesterday that no legal action to evict the workers will be taken until after the weekend.