20 Dec 2012

Another slap in the face from Westminster

Glasgow Shettleston’s MSP, John Mason, has expressed his anger at the announcement from the UK Government that it will cut the consultation period for large scale redundancies by half from 90 days to 45 from 6th April 2013.

The local Member of the Scottish Parliament says the treatment of ordinary workers by the UK Government is utterly outrageous, at a time when people need more certainty rather than less.  The SNP MSP also made reference to the Freshlink example where workers got 90 days’ notice but talks went on beyond that.

John Mason MSP said:

“The fact that Jo Swinson has claimed that reducing the consultation period for large scale redundancies is ‘helping workers’ is, frankly, a joke.

“It is in the realms of fantasy to think that making it easier for large companies to make redundancies is in any way good for the workers.  Just recently in the East End we’ve seen Freshlink, which employed 145 folk embark upon a redundancy process.  The staff, unions, management, City Council, Scottish Enterprise, and others involved needed the full 90 days – any reduction, as is proposed by the UK Government, would have made it even harder to find if a solution was possible.

“What people need is greater certainty, not less. In the event that a company needs to consider such drastic action, a period of at least 90 days allows for serious alternative proposals to be put forward, for redeployment options to be properly considered and for other employment options to be looked at.  Reducing to 45 days is a major step backwards that will not protect ordinary workers.

“Companies operating with large workforces normally plan their businesses for years ahead.  However, sometimes difficult decisions need to be made quickly and 90 days seems a reasonable time for everyone to step back, reflect on the options, and decide on the best way ahead.

“The treatment of workers by the UK Government is utterly outrageous.  They are continuing to impose bad policies that the people of Scotland do not want. Scotland has the opportunity to do things differently, fairer and better with the powers of independence.”