Former Kent distribution staff take legal action against Morrisons supermarket over redundancy pay

Supermarket chain Morrisons is facing legal action from 650 former distribution staff in a dispute over redundancy pay.

The GMB union claims that Morrisons could be liable for at least £1m in additional payments to warehouse staff and drivers who were laid off when the company closed its distribution centre in Aylesford, Kent, this year.

Last September, Morrisons agreed to pay £1,000 compensation on top of existing redundancy agreements to staff whose jobs were cut as part of plans to close three distribution depots, including Aylesford.

The payments formed part of a deal to avert a strike threatened by 2,500 staff at the depots.

But some of the Aylesford staff have said they did not receive the retention pay they had been promised for staying on to oversee the closure of the depot.

Others claim they did not receive holiday pay or money due for working Bank Holidays.

Jim McDermott, GMB organiser, said: “Staff were disgusted with losing their jobs and let down by Morrisons. When it came to the closure, they didn’t get the payments they were due.”

A Morrisons spokesman said: “Agreement was reached with our Aylesford colleagues regarding the closure and only residual matters of difference are being considered via the employment tribunal process.”

The Ashford Employment Tribunal in Kent, is scheduled to hear the cases over 15 days in November.

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