Following NACO & USDAW's most recent meeting with the Co-operative Group Cheif Executive, Peter Marks, on 29th September 2011 we have been provided with an official response as below:
'There are a number of re-organisations being undertaken with the Co-operative Group at present and although discretionary redundancy payments are considered from time to time, they remain discretionary arrangements which may be changed or withdrawn at any time. These arrangements do not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and are limited to the particular areas where they are applied. They do not consequently apply to another employer where we engage in either a business sale or joint venture.
The Co-operative Group has received requests from our recognised trade unions, USDAW and NACO, and directly from employees who will transfer to the new joint venture, that the Co-operative Group exercises discretion in relation to any redundancies that may arise from re-organisations undertaken by the new joint venture and offers a discretionary ‘top-up’ to the Group’s standard redundancy payments.
The Group Chief Executive has listened carefully to the submissions made by USDAW and NACO but has determined that it would not be appropriate in the case of employees joining the new joint venture to introduce a discretionary ‘top-up’ to our present terms provided under our security of employment agreement.'
NACO is extremely disappointed that, despite numerous appeals the Co-operative Group Executive, the response has been to dismiss claims for enhanced redundancy terms for members affected by the Joint Venture.
Neil Buist, NACO General Secretary, commented "whilst we have made every effort to secure enhanced redundancy terms for those affected by the JV, unfortunately the Group Chief Executive has confirmed that the enhanced terms will not be extended to this exercise".
At this time we have not be advised of any redundancies as a result of the Joint Venture. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep members updated.
An open meeting for NACO members is to be held on Thursday 6th October 2011 at the Burslem site. Details to be sent by email to affected members.