Archive : Robinson dismissal ‘came as shock’

From Our Correspondent Birmingham

Mr Derek Robinson. the forrmer shop steward convener at Brioish Leyland’s Longbridge plant, was stunned in-to -disbelief when thle companv dismissed him. That was made plain at a Birmingham industrial tribunal yesterday which heard that his dismissal took place at a meeting with Mr Stanley Mullett, the Longbridge plant manager. Mr Robinson threatened to go to a mass meeting and accused the company of Victimizing him.

Mr Mullett told him: “You have had your say, now I will have mine.”

He said that Mr Robinson had been warned in the past and had again attempted to disrupt company policy and told him:  “I have no alternative but to dismiss you.”

Mr Robinson told the tribunal: “I was flabbergasted and thunderstruck. I did not think I was to be dismissed.”

Mr Robinson is claiming that his dismissal for allegedly distributing leaflets which were against Sir Michael Edwardes’s plan to save BL, was unfair. But the tribunal has first to decide whether it has jurisdiction to hear his claim. BL say that his dismissal by Mr Mullett on November I9 last was final and that his claim of unfair dismissal is therefore outside the three months statutory time limit.

But Mr Robinson is claiming that an agreement between Sir Michael Edwardes and top union representatives on November 27 altered the situation so that the company agreed to a union investigation. The tribunal has been told that after the meeting a press statement was given which put into quotation marks the fact that an inquiry was to be held and that Mr Robinson was to receive money. Outside the quotation marks the statement went on that Mr Robinson was not reinstated, that his dismissal stood, and that the payments were, ex-gratia.

Keith Adams

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