Around 130 former Livingston factory workers eligible for compensation over site closure

Union chiefs have welcomed the news that around 130 former workers at a Livingston factory are eligible for compensation over the closure of the site, following an employment tribunal decision.

The API Foils factory in Livingston which shut on Friday.
The API Foils factory in Livingston which shut on Friday.

API Foils closed several global factories at the end of January last year after its parent company, US-based Steel Partner Holdings, issued a press release issued to the New York stock exchange stating the firm was entering administration.

The Livingston factory had at the time recently won an order for labelling Prosecco worth £2 million and manufactured specialty foils and packaging materials which were distributed to Europe, North America and Australasia.

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The closure of the factory’s gates in Livingston left employees redundant, with Unite calling for the Scottish Government and West Lothian Council to work with the company to find an alternative buyer.

At the time, Unite’s deputy Scottish secretary, Mary Alexander, said workers had been left in a "state of shock and anxiety" that their jobs could go overnight and without any warning.

But in a statement issued on Friday, Unite welcomed the news that former API Foils workers are set to receive compensation following an employment tribunal decision due to the closure of the Livingston based factory.

The union said around 130 former workers are now eligible for a protective award against API Foils Limited after legal action initiated by Unite on behalf of the workforce.

The award is remuneration for the protected period of 90 days starting on February 3, 2020, which means workers could receive up to £4,200 (for 8 weeks) subject to tax and deductions.

Unite deputy Scottish Secretary, Mary Alexander, said: “We are pleased Unite’s protective award action for our members was successful.

“API Foils was a longstanding company with generations of family and friends who worked and lived in the community in Livingston. They turned up to work one day to find the gates locked and found out via the New York stock exchange they didn’t have a job. This is an appalling way to treat workers and their families.

“It has been a long hard struggle to get compensation for our members but Unite has backed them all the way. It is however small compensation for losing your job and secure income.”

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