Wages row goes to employment tribunal

Frustrated workers protested outside the Creative Lead Finder call centre in King Street, Leyland, back in May
Frustrated workers protested outside the Creative Lead Finder call centre in King Street, Leyland, back in May
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Workers who walked out of a Leyland call centre over a wages row are now taking the issue to an employment tribunal, in the hope of getting back the thousands of pounds they claim they are owed.

Staff at Creative Lead Finder’s call centre in King’s Court, King Street, claimed they hadn’t been paid their wages in full for a six-week period back in May.

They refused to work and staged a protest outside the building, but the following week, the office was seen to be cleared of its computers and desks, and the furious workers haven’t been contacted by the firm since.

Now, some members of staff have taken the issue to a tribunal, but without the result they had hoped for, and more are set to do the same in September.

Worker Rachel Speakman, 42, from Seven Stars Road in Leyland, told the Guardian: “Some people went to a tribunal in July but because their contract said they were self-employed for the firm, it was thrown out.

“A few more of us have a got a date for September, but we’re in the same position so we’ve no chance of getting our money back I don’t think.

“I only know of about eight people who are taking the issue further, but there could be more.

“We’ve been to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and have been told that our only option really is to go through the small claims court, but we can’t afford that.”

The mum-of-three added: “I’m on benefits now. I’ve just been job hunting for the last few months, but to no avail.

“I don’t want another call centre job because I’m frightened of this type of thing happening again.

“I’m owed £1,100 in wages, but I think it’s the end of the road unfortunately.”

More than 100 workers refused to continue working for the company in May, which opened under the name Ultra Energy last October, and were then advised to look for jobs elsewhere by the company’s director.

A letter to staff advised them the Leyland site would be temporarily closed, as the firm looked for ways to pay back the wages.

But Rachel said: “I haven’t heard from the director or anyone else from the firm since.

“I think it’s absolutely disgusting what’s happened. We earned that money fair and square, and to be screwed over in this day and age is just unbelievable.

“It’s so wrong on so many levels.”