THE Scottish Trades Unions Congress has set up a special helpline to allow survivors and bereaved families involved in the Glasgow helicopter crash to access free legal advice and representation.
They are being urged to contact the STUC to discover whether they qualify for legal support and advice through their trade unions.
The Clutha helicopter tragedy claimed its tenth victim last week when 59 year-old Joe Cusker, from Cambuslang, died after 13 days in Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
An STUC spokesman said: “The STUC is concerned that many union members don’t realise that their families and themselves are entitled to free legal support whether an accident occurs at work or not. The lawyers employed by trade unions are experts in dealing with the legal implications of accidents like the Clutha tragedy and most importantly deduct no fee from any compensation.
“The STUC is worried that union members could hire a legal firm which is not employed by their union which will deduct significant fees for themselves.”
He explained: “Most ‘No Win No Fee’ legal firms can deduct up to 30 per cent of any compensation they win for their clients. Union lawyers deduct nothing. Members and their families keep everything.”
Grahame Smith, the STUC General Secretary, said “The thoughts of the STUC are very much with the families of those who have lost loved ones and the many injured as a result of this awful accident. We are launching this helpline to ensure that trade union members and their families who have been involved in the Clutha tragedy can access free expert legal support that’s provided through their union.”
He added: “Many trade union members may believe that their union’s legal services will only help them with problems at work but most provide non work related legal support. It’s also very important to remember that union lawyers do not deduct any fee for their work.
“We are urging all those who have suffered loss or injury in this awful accident to contact the helpline to find out if they qualify for legal support through their trade union.”