DATE: 31st March 2021
TO: All Mandate Members, Counterpoint Ireland.
FROM: Keith Pollard, Divisional Organiser
RE: Membership Update
I hope this correspondence finds you and yours safe and well.
Further to the General Members Meeting held via Zoom on Tuesday 30th March 2021 please find below copy of correspondence sent by Mandate to Ms. Sian Young, Appendix 1, seeking clarification with regard to the Severance Agreement and Ms. Young’s response to same. Appendix 2
Furthermore I have included at Appendix 3 below a copy of correspondence which I have sent of today’s date to Ms. Young with regard to the payment of all outstanding monies owed to our members who are being made redundant to be paid on the date of their departure from Counterpoint. I am awaiting a response to same and upon receipt of the response I will circulate it to all members.
I have raised with the Company the issue that members should be informed of their outstanding Annual Leave balance and what this would equate to in terms of payment for same in advance of signing the Severance Agreement. The response that I have received is members can enquire directly to HR by contacting Ms. Sinead Ryan, email@example.com and that this figure will be provided to you at the earliest opportunity.
I would like to remind all members who wish for me to explain and sign their Severance Agreements that they should email a copy of their agreement to me (without the password) and I will respond with a time and date for their individual meeting. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
I would like to take this opportunity to place on record my sincere gratitude to your Shop Stewards, Mr. Larry Murphy & Mr. Tom Breen, for all their hard work, dedication and support throughout the consultation process and indeed throughout their tenure as Shop Stewards. I am sure that I am not speaking on my own behalf but also on the behalf of the wider membership when expressing my gratitude to them.
For all members who are exiting the Company and availing of the redundancy package I would encourage you to maintain your membership of Mandate Trade Union by clicking on the following link www.joinmandate.ie . It is only through workers standing together in their Trade Union that they can achieve improvements in their working lives.
Finally, it has been a pleasure for me to represent you all in my capacity as the Mandate Divisional Organiser with responsibility for Counterpoint over the past number of years. I genuinely wish all of those members availing of the redundancy package the very best of Health, Wealth and Happiness into the future and hope that you all decide to remain members of Mandate. For those members remaining within Britvic, I look forward to working closely with you going forward.
From: Keith Pollard <email@example.com>
Sent: 30 March 2021 13:01
To: Young, Sian (Britvic IE)
Subject: Severance Agreement
Dear Ms. Young
I hope this email finds you and yours safe and well.
Further to the recent consultation process and our subsequent telephone conversations, concerns have been raised with the undersigned with regard to the proposed wording of the severance agreement provided to members with details of their final redundancy figures. The concerns raised centre around section 3 of the Severance Agreement and I would appreciate it if you could provide clarification by return.
Robust Management of Aged Debt.
- Clear down of all overdue balances, including ongoing appropriately robust conversations with customers, working with internal and external stakeholders to deliver a co-ordinated plan.
As discussed during the consultation process and our subsequent telephone conversations it is impossible for our members to ensure that all debt is cleared down before their exit date and assurances are required that all our members have to do with regard to the clear down of overdue balances and aged debt is to be able to demonstrate that they attempted to deal with same.
- Negotiation and where required re-negotiation payment plans, in line with approval process.
No issue with this bullet point as long as our members can demonstrate that they were in contact with the customer and attempted to negotiate or re-negotiate with these customers.
- Complete on a live basis a tracker to update each account position.
No issue with this bullet point.
Successful and positive customer transition to new licensed model
- Act as a strong Britvic brand ambassador, ensuring all customers are consistently communicated the proposed new licensed channel model as per communications plan, and that all customers are clear on the features and benefits of it, and the benefits to them.
Our members will communicate the proposed new licensed channel model to all customers but the word “consistently” above needs to be clarified as to what constitutes consistently.
- Retain all existing customers, by successfully transition from a direct to indirect route to market. Work closely with the Heads of Licensed to ensure communications between the various parties are managed in a proactive, organised, disciplined and positive manner to ensure a smooth customer experience, ensuring customers transition to their new route to market thinking and feeling that the transition was a seamless one, and that they remain loyal to Britvic brand stockist status in future.
It is impossible for our members to ensure that all customers are retained and clarification needs to be provided on this point.
- Once new route to market is identified and agreed, ensure a smooth handover for all customers, including sharing of customer information where appropriate, and ‘face to face’ meetings to ensure appropriate handovers are completed
All our members can do is make efforts to provide a smooth handover of customer information if directed by the customer to do so.
- Complete on a live basis a tracker to update on all customer transitions.
No issue with this point
Execute stock clearance
- Drive sale of all remaining existing stock holdings through off trade channel as guided by Counterpoint management team, in line with pricing policy provided, to balance maximisation of speed of clearance and securing the best value possible.
It would be appreciated if you could respond at your earliest opportunity the required clarifications.
From: Young, Sian (Britvic IE)
Sent: 30 March 2021 14:18
To: Keith Pollard <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RE: Severance Agreement
Happy to confirm in writing to ensure clarity in line with our verbal discussions that the criteria outlined below are that we are seeking best efforts with regards to the points below.
We know that our team have been working hard to deal with our customers throughout the last year and that with the trade remaining in lockdown it is not likely to be possible to clear all overdue balances and aged debt by April 30th. It also is not possible to guarantee that all customers are retained and we recognise that there are some challenging conversations taking place with regards to stock which are impacting on a number of those discussions.
We are looking for our team to continue to display best efforts. Best efforts will be demonstrated through keeping trackers updated to show that they have remained in contact with their accounts, explored all practical options to resolve issues around debt and transition to the new model as well as handing over all accounts to an appropriate contact within the Business in advance of departure.
It is not our intention to withhold the half week unless significant issues arise and we would seek ways to resolve such issues directly with the employee in advance of it reaching that point. It is only within our interests to work with the team to deliver the best results for Britvic and for our ongoing relationships with the Trade and all our People – both those staying within Britvic in the new model and those who will hopefully continue supporting our brands after their departure.
Please communicate the above to the team and I hope this will provide reassurance with regards to concerns they may have. We deliberately did not put specific figures into the deliverables in the interests of fairness as it could have penalised those who had already worked so hard to resolve issues in advance of the announcement of the closure. However, I can see how the wording required this clarification.
Can I ask that you also remind your members to sign up for the Outplacement Support. While I understand that many have already secured alternative employment it may prove useful in different ways and to date we have had quite a small number of people signing up so it looks like we may need to reduce the number of sessions and we would like to confirm this one way or another.
From: Keith Pollard
Sent: 31 March 2021 12:50
To: Young, Sian (Britvic IE)
Subject: Redundancy Payments
I hope this email finds you and yours safe and well.
As you are aware a General Meeting of all Mandate members employed in Counterpoint took place via Zoom on Tuesday 30th March 2021. During the course of the meeting serious concerns were raised by the members with regard to the fact that they will not be in receipt of their full redundancy payments from Counterpoint on the date of their departure from the Company.
In some circumstances members will not receive their payments for a full month after their departure date from the Company. The members in general requested that I raise their concerns with you in the strongest possible terms in an effort to ensure that all payments are processed and paid to our members on their departure date. It is my understanding and that of my members that all members who availed of the various Voluntary Redundancy programmes in the past all received their full and final payments on their date of departure from the Company and our members cannot understand as to why it is different on this occasion.
It would be appreciated if you could look into this matter and respond with a positive outcome at your earliest opportunity.
Mandate Trade Union
9 Cavendish Row
Tel: 01 8746321