A total of 88 workers employed by BetFred in Wigan, Greater Manchester, one of the biggest high street bookmakers, will receive a share of £469,000 after Unite challenged the company when it denied its members their rightful redundancy pay.
This will mean an individual average pay out of about £5,300.
The low-paid workers, predominately women, supported by Unite launched a successful social media campaign to ‘name and shame’ BetFred, after the company refused to pay out enhanced redundancy payments to workers (formerly employed by the Tote bookmakers) who lost their jobs after the closure of the Wigan call centre last year.
“Despite our members having contracts of employment which outlined their terms and conditions and entitlement to redundancy pay the company refused to pay up,” said Unite regional officer Donna Kassim.
“Together with the workforce we mounted a social media campaign to shame BetFred bosses into doing the right thing,” she added. “The Justice for BetFred Workers Facebook page attracted hundreds of supporters expressing their solidarity and support.
“We also had the backing of our local Labour councillors and MPs who made written representations to the company over the behaviour of CEO John Haddock and the owner of BetFred, Fred Done.
Unite north west regional secretary Mick Whitley emphasised the hard work of Unite members and their lawyers, and thanks to their efforts “workers will now get the redundancy pay out that they are entitled to.”
“This demonstrates the value of union membership and how joint action can empower the workforce to challenge employers who don’t respect the terms and conditions of employment,” he said.