Tribunals: Next Round Begins

Phil Groom writes:

Please spare a thought and/or pray for everyone involved in the next round of Employment Tribunals, which start today.

The Charity Commission’s appointment of an Interim Manager is good news on the one hand in that at last an outside agency is responding to the Brewers depredations of the former SPCK bookshops; but on the other hand, the solicitors appointed by the Interim Manager have specific responsibility “to preserve the assets of the charity and contest the legal claims of the Usdaw members.”

Let justice roll on like a river!

USDAW Statement as reported on the Church Times blog:

St. Stephen the Great tribunal

The long-awaited first stage of the St. Stephen the Great tribunal is due to take place next week in Bury St. Edmunds, commencing Monday 11 May, and is scheduled to run for three days. This is a preliminary hearing to consider who the employer of the claimants was at the time they were dismissed (the charitable trust, or one of the two limited companies).

Since the date was arranged, the Charity Commission has been conducting an investigation into how the charitable trust has been run and has now used its powers under the Charities Act to intervene and appoint an interim manager to manage the affairs of the charity (in place of the previous trustees, who were the American-based Mark Brewer and other members of his family). The interim manager has, in turn, appointed new solicitors to preserve the assets of the charity and contest the legal claims of the Usdaw members.

These new solicitors asked the tribunal to postpone the hearing in order to allow extra time for them to get up to speed with the cases. But Usdaw objected, as our members had been waiting so long for their cases to be heard. The hearing will now commence on the Monday morning with legal arguments for and against the granting of a postponement of the tribunal.

Usdaw is hoping that the court will consider the best interests of the claimants, who have waited patiently for justice, three of whom will be travelling to Bury St. Edmunds to appear as test case witnesses on behalf of all those dismissed, and allow the case to continue on the day.

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10 responses to “Tribunals: Next Round Begins

  1. Prayers and thoughts are with all fighting their case over the next few days from ex-staff here in Cornwall.

  2. Valiant for Truth

    And has been said earlier, thoughts and prayers for those not currently facing legal action but have suffered loss of job, income, pension, career, vocation. They are many and they and their families have been made to feel sullied by the Brewers, and forgotten by many. Thank you to the blogs which have made everyone feel wanted and valued, as well as cared for.

  3. Breaking news: out of court settlement for {some?} ex-employees: seeking further information…

  4. ooh this is getting exciting. All those months of nothing happening, and now it’s getting hard to keep up.

  5. Details emerging: O/C settlement proposed by Interim Managers; USDAW reported confident.

  6. What on earth is wrong with WordPress this evening?? Trying to cross-post Matt’s latest and connection keeps dropping out.

  7. They are certainly doing silly buggers.

  8. Sorry don’t know where that comment came from? No ASBO please. Just frustrated.

    • No worries: that’s mild compared to the expletives I’ve deleted this evening. Shouldn’t complain too noisily about a free service, though, I guess…

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