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Friction workers win jobs case

Workers at the Dynamex Friction plant in north Wales have won their case for unfair dismissal following its re-emergence as a phoenix company last year.

The business was created after Friction Dynamics was put into voluntary administration by boss Craig Smith in August 2003. Dynamex Friction was formed two weeks later, operating from the same plant in Caernarvon, with Smith a major shareholder. Thirty Friction Dynamics workers were not re-employed.

An industrial tribunal held in Abergele, north Wales, this month accepted the workers’ case that there was a link between the two companies, which in turn meant they should have been offered jobs or redundancy payments. The tribunal ruled that as the new business had the same site, staff, customers and equipment, the companies were essentially the same.

As a result, workers could qualify for compensation, as could employees dismissed in 2001 by Smith, an American millionaire, in a dispute over working conditions.

Those workers have already shared a £750,000 payment that covers redundancy costs and holiday pay, but are now likely to pursue the new company.

Union leaders have secured a court order that freezes the assets of three businesses based at the Caernarvon site.

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