The United Road Transport Union (URTU) said it had won a “protective award” for staff made redundant when Almtone-owned Canute Group ceased trading in 2018.

Following an employment tribunal hearing last month, the union said it had been successful before a judge in showing that Almtone had failed to consult former employees at its sites in Coventry, Retford, Lancaster and Newport about their looming redundancy.

It added that URTU members had been made redundant between December 2018 and January 2019.

Brian Hart, URTU national officer, praised its legal team and said: “They had to overcome several difficult legal hurdles during a long standing and protracted legal process, in order to bring this matter before an employment judge.

“That perseverance has been rewarded with an award for a protected period of 90 days, which is the maximum award that can be given in these circumstances.”

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He added: “Sadly, the company involved in this matter is no longer in existence, but the members who benefit from this decision can now make a claim to the redundancy payments office.”

Canute Haulage Group originally entered administration in May 2018 before being sold to Almtone in a pre-pack deal.

It continued to trade as Canute Group before its new owner succumbed to administration just seven months later, putting around 450 staff out of jobs.

An URTU spokesman told that it had “enjoyed a long-standing recognition agreement with Canute, which was originally signed in July 2007”.

The spokesman added: “We’re saddened by the company demise in December 2018.”