Six Kosovan workers who were unfairly dismissed by civil engineering company FM Conway have won a total of £46,210.24 at tribunal.
The men claimed there were attempts to pressurise them into working on a "self-employed basis" when they transferred to work at FM Conway in 2007. When they refused to do so and involved union Ucatt in the dispute, they were dismissed in September 2008 for trade union activity.
Alan Ritchie, general secretary of construction union Ucatt, said: "Companies such as FM Conway have got to realise that, in the 21st century, workers must be treated with respect and cannot be sacked on a whim."
Steve Cottingham, a partner at solicitors OH Parsons, who represented the workers at the employment tribunal, said: "Vulnerable workers have the same rights as anyone else in the workplace, and companies must learn that they cannot get away with mistreating them."