‘No notice’ given to Glasgow East Women’s Aid workers

Unite launches legal action and seeks 'urgent clarity' over reasons for organisation going bust

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Unite the union this week confirmed that its Glasgow East Women’s Aid membership were given ‘no notice’ prior to the Easterhouse based organisation being placed into administration last week.

The organisation was thrown into turmoil last October after 13 Unite members were suspended amid allegations that workers were targeted on grounds related to their trade union activities.

In a long-running saga, Unite then secured interim relief in a major legal victory last November on behalf of five workers who were subsequently dismissed. The legal decision coincided with the onset of strike action. The five workers were subsequently reinstated in January 2024.

The union can reveal that no notification or consultation was afforded to the workers, and Unite first heard that Glasgow East Women’s Aid had been placed into administration through media sources.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said,“The mismanagement at Glasgow East Women’s Aid is one of the worst cases we have ever come across. Make no mistake we will get to the bottom of this sorry mess and we will fight for all our members to secure justice.”

Unite can confirm that it is in the process of contacting its membership in order to progress protective award claims. A protective award can be awarded where 20 or more employees are made redundant because an employer did not consult before any redundancy announcement. Employment tribunals can make various awards from 45 days to 90 days of full pay.

The union has also contacted Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government requesting ‘urgent clarity’ as it understands a major reason for the organisation being placed into administration relates to public monies being withheld and withdrawn.

Unite has been informed that some of the services provided by Glasgow East Women’s Aid have been reallocated to other publicly funded organisations providing similar services across the city.

Unite industrial officer Linda Wilson added, “The story of Glasgow East Women’s Aid over the last six months has been one of turmoil and chaos. Unite has protected and defended our members at all times, and we will continue to do so.

“It is our understanding that the organisation being placed in administration was primarily due to public monies either being withheld or withdrawn by Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government. We are urgently seeking clarity on whether this is in fact the case because there has been zero transparency.”

“The actions of Glasgow East Women’s Aid regarding the lack of consultation is potentially illegal. Unite is contacting all our members to progress protective award claims being lodged against the organisation.”

The Glasgow East Women’s Aid workers are all highly trained women and children’s support workers who provide critical and lifesaving services for women and children fleeing and experiencing domestic abuse in greater Easterhouse – one of Scotland’s most economically deprived communities.

By Andrew Brady