England

Darlington workers get damages after losing rig jobs

Sea Dragon platform
Image caption The rig contract went to a company in Singapore.

About 130 Darlington workers laid off when an oil rig contract collapsed have won a share of a £400,000 settlement.

The workers took Cleveland Bridge UK to a tribunal claiming they should have been given 90 days' notice when it lost the rig contract in January 2009.

The GMB members were laid off when the Sea Dragon project was relocated from Teesside to Singapore.

An employment tribunal ruled Cleveland Bridge should have given workers more notice on redundancies.

The workers were awarded 45 days' pay - between £2,500 and £4,500 each, the GMB said.

Cleveland Bridge UK was the lead company in the Tees Alliance Group (TAG) consortium which was to carry out the work for Sea Dragon Offshore.

Protect members

Many of the workers were only given three weeks' notice before being laid off.

TAG was awarded the contract to build the two semi submersible oil drilling rigs in 2007.

But in January 2009, Sea Dragon Offshore terminated the contract because of a problem with finances.

A spokesman for the GMB said: "This judgement should serve as a reminder to employers that GMB will take whatever steps necessary to protect our members' employment rights."

No-one from Cleveland Bridge was available for comment.

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