12 November 2001 10:31 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--BP Chembel must await a hearing in the Belgian Court of Work in Mons for a decision on its appeal against the reinstatement of two sacked workers "protected" by their union status
Karol Macek, a manager at BP Chembel's Feluy plant, told CNI on Monday that the Works Tribunal in Charleroi had decided last Friday to adjourn the case pending a ruling from the superior court in Mons.
The Works Tribunal decided on 25 October that the two operators should be reinstated. Due to their protected union status, a ruling was required from the tribunal to legalise their removal from office. The tribunal found that BP Chembel had not followed correct procedures when it sacked the plant’s health and safety committee member and the secretary of the works council and had filed paperwork with an error in its address.
Macek told CNI that BP Chembel was appealing the decision so that the reasons for the sackings were taken into account.
No date has been set for the appeal hearing in Mons, although Macek said he expected it to be soon.
If the Court of Work in Mons is unable to reach a verdict, the case will be referred to Belgium's Final Court of Appeal.
An entire shift of ten operators working on the linear alpha olefins (LAO) plant at Feluy was dismissed on 5 October after refusing to obey orders relating to the management of a production incident, according to BP. A further two were dismissed in the ensuing strike.
Negotiations with unions on a planned restructure programme, which involves the loss of 70 jobs from the 290-strong workforce at Feluy, are continuing Macek said, and have not been affected by the reinstatement and appeal process.
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