Union bosses have launched a fight to secure redundancy pay for workers who lost their jobs when an iconic Glasgow business collapsed.

Staff laid off when Drumchapel-based bakery Mortons Rolls hit financial difficulties in March claim they have been told by the Government's Redundancy Payment Service (RPS) that they will receive nothing after ruling the firm was still solvent when it was rescued by angel investors.

Redundancy notices were sent out at the time by a provisional liquidator, who was appointed following Mortons Rolls' collapse, with all 230 staff told at the time that they were losing their jobs.

Workers believed they would qualify for cash dependent on age and length of service - but have now been told by the RPS that the roles were legally transferred to new owners, Phoenix Volt, before Mortons' collapse.

GMB Scotland is now taking legal advice to win pay outs for its members and has begun writing to local politicians demanding action.

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Anyone who worked for a company for more than two years is due redundancy, with the government agency claiming it is the responsibility of Phoenix Volt to find the cash owed. Around half of the workforce returned 15 days after Mortons went under - but on new terms and conditions.


In letters to laid off workers, the RPS said their jobs were not made redundant but transferred to Phoenix Volt when both firms were solvent. It says the new owners, led by entrepreneur John McIlvogue, are now responsible for the historic payments.

Mr McIlvogue led a consortium of local businesspeople to create a masterplan to revive the firm and managed to secure 110 posts, insisting that he would work to get all 230 people back on the payroll.

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GMB Scotland organiser David Hume said: “When Mortons Rolls collapsed, the workforce was told they were being redundant, the firm was going under and their jobs were lost. There was no suggestion their roles had been transferred to new owners.

“More than 100 of those workers were not asked to return when the factory resumed production. They were made redundant and as such deserve redundancy pay.

“We are now urgently seeking legal advice on what exactly happened at Mortons Rolls, including issues around TUPE, unfair dismissal and redundancy pay. This is not about if these workers are due payment, it is about who pays it. Someone is liable - and they will be held liable.

“These workers were treated badly then and are being treated appallingly now. We hope the politicians who welcomed the rescue of Mortons Rolls should be equally supportive of the workers laid off, but are now forced to fight for redundancy pay owed to them."