Unique staff in court over wage battle


Staff of troubled Unique Distribution took to Southwark Crown Court today (April 24) in a bid to release funds from the frozen assets of parent company IGB to pay wages that are two months overdue.

IGB’s assets, including funds for salaries and payments to creditors, have been frozen since January as part of a VAT fraud investigation by HM Revenue and Customs, who appointed managing receiver Chantrey Vellacott. Staff have also been shut out of the Hayes warehouse for that long due to insurance issues.

About 10 staff and their legal team fronted a judge today in the hope of obtaining a ruling to force Chantrey Vellacott to release funds for their unpaid wages.

The hearing has been adjourned and will be rescheduled for a date within the next two weeks to allow for Chantrey Vellacott to provide an argument for why funds should not be released to pay staff wages.

Unique technical director Neil Brooks said: “There’s no resolution yet, but the judge was very fair and understanding. We haven’t had the door closed on us, which is very positive.”

Meanwhile, 3 has terminated its airtime distribution with Unique. Unique claimed earlier this year that it was 3’s largest airtime dealer in the UK. Dealers will be advised of the situation in a bulletin, but a network spokesman refused to comment.