Row erupts as union kicks out workers

A row has erupted between the employees of a number of Mansfield firms and the union which represented them following an announcement they were no longer eligible for membership.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 11th December 2013, 7:00 am
Jeffrey Wood, National President of UDM.
Jeffrey Wood, National President of UDM.

Workers at Vendside Ltd and other subsidiary companies of the Union of Democratic Mineworkers (UDM) located on Berry Hill Lane, had their membership with the union terminated on 27th November.

Vendside, which recently went into administration, was established by the UDM in 1997 to handle personal injury claims of miners and former miners in the local area. It employs 19 people.

A worker at the firm, who asked not to be named, told Chad: “I feel after 14 years of paying branch subscriptions every month, something should be said about this.

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“This is an uncertain time and the union should be doing something for us. They keep saying we do not work for the union, but if someone rings for the union, Vendside staff answer the phone.”

Jeff Wood, National President of the UDM, told Chad the decision had been taken because to qualify for union membership, workers had to provide a service to the coalmining industry.

As Vendside no longer handled miners’ claims, they no longer qualified for UDM membership.

A worker from another UDM subsidiary firm located at Berry Hill Lane, said: “What I would like to know is are they going to reimburse us our fees if we did not qualify for membership?”

Mr Wood added: “Only three of the staff working at Berry Hill work for the UDM and therefore can continue to be members of the Union.

“All other staff at the offices do not, and the companies they work for have no links to the mining industry or its ancillary undertakings, which would allow continued membership.”

He said 12 weeks’ continued benefits would be provided to the workers.