Unite secures legal victory for Stoneywood paper mill workers

Unite the union has welcomed the announcement that the employment tribunal has handed down favourable judgements covering the protective award claims made on behalf of all former Stoneywood paper mill workers based in Aberdeen.

The union supported around 300 claims against Arjowiggins Scotland Ltd – the company which owned the paper mill - for its failure to enact a 45-day consultation period for workers in a redundancy situation. The judgement covers all manual workers dismissed on 22 September 2022 and in the 90-day period thereafter.

Unite understands that the average compensation award per worker is likely to be in the region of £4,000 which means the total award will amount to around £1.2 million.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “It’s terrible news when any company goes into administration and workers lose their jobs. However, when a company like Arjowiggins fails to obey the law, then Unite will hold them to account. We are pleased to finally secure some justice and financial compensation for the Stoneywood paper mill workers.”

A protective award can be awarded when 20 or more employees are made redundant because an employer did not consult before any redundancy announcement. Employment tribunals can make various awards of up to 90 days of full pay.

Mark Lyon, Unite legal officer said: "Unite is delighted that the employment tribunal has handed down judgements in favour of around 300 Unite members. This highlights that when a company behaves illegally, then Unite will use every legal avenue and tool possible to secure justice.

“The final compensation amount is likely to be around £1.2 million meaning the average award per worker will be around £4,000. Let this decision be a stark reminder to all companies, if you fail to abide by the law, then Unite will fight you every step of the way.”