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Tuesday29 July 2014

RIBA piles pressure on RMJM

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RIAS also believed to be funding employee action

The RIBA and RIAS are understood to be bankrolling action being taken by a group of current and former employees of RMJM who claim they are owed missing wages, expenses and redundancy payments.

The unprecedented action follows comments made by RIBA president Angela Brady earlier this year when she said she wanted to hear from staff about any concerns they had with RMJM – such as missing wages.

In all, 25 staff are being represented by Edinburgh law firm Simpson & Marwick and are threatening to launch an employment tribunal to recover a sum believed to be above £150,000.

The cost of the legal action is expected to hit £15,000 which will be covered by the RIBA and RIAS.

In a joint statement, the RIBA and RIAS said: “The RIBA and RIAS do not comment on investigations into any specific complaints about chartered practices or disciplinary cases in relation to individual RIBA members. We can confirm that we have been offering support to a number of our members who have raised concerns as RMJM employees. We will not comment on this matter further.”

But RMJM group commercial director Declan Thompson said it disputed the claims and blamed the RIBA and its president Angela Brady for stirring up trouble.

“It shouldn’t come as a surprise,” he said. “The RIBA has made a mistake. This is a product of [the comments] made a while ago.”

He added: “We are totally and completely disputing this. RMJM’s position is that it’s not due and we are fighting it. All 25 are wrong and the whole thing is disputed.”

He said he was “happy to meet up” with the claimants and added: “I’m hoping we get to sit down and talk this through. We need to explain where they’ve made errors in what they’re claiming. They’re trying to damage a business which has many of their former colleagues in it.”

As part of the dispute, Simpson & Marwick sent a formal demand at the end of last week asking them to pay up within seven days or face a winding up petition. Thompson confirmed RMJM’s lawyers, Morisons, have since replied to the demand.

Most of the staff taking the action are believed to be from RMJM’s Edinburgh office which is due to be closed at the end of the month with remaining staff transferred across to its office in Glasgow.

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Readers' comments (10)

  • “We are totally and completely disputing this. RMJM’s position is that it’s not due and we are fighting it. All 25 are wrong and the whole thing is disputed.”

    so.... same strategy as the 1000 + other staff they have lost over the last few years then. Pay up.

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  • "They’re trying to damage a business which has many of their former colleagues in it.”

    Declan, it was you who damaged, sorry totally destroyed this business.

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  • 'many of their former colleagues in it'
    Are you talking about those 3 people in London and 7 (or 6?) in Glasgow? Clearly you don't mean the Edinburgh staff as no one agreed to be transferred to Glasgow and remaining few is just working through their notice period so it can't be considered as an office anymore...

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  • The first time someone calls you a horse you punch him on the nose, the second time someone calls you a horse you call him a jerk but the third time someone calls you a horse...well then perhaps it's time to go shopping for a saddle.

    25 people supported by 2 of the industry's main associations in order to give them a bit of a well needed foundation upon which to challenge these blasé bully-boy, reality-detached nincompoops...along with the hundreds of other ex-staff who filed grievances with the company, surely cannot all be wrong?

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  • All 25 are wrong? How - is there a new mass outbreak of Mad Cow Disease in Scotland? There's also a class action suit with 15 claimants in the U.S., with a second one building. You'll find similar claims in Dubai, in Asia, and amongst hundreds of vendors, landlords, consultants, tax authorities. An offensive situation made more so by Declan's outlandish denials. Better he simply have "no comment" than take a global population for fools.

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  • Rumpy Stumpy

    Declan, mate are you really trying this hard to look so stupid or do and your mates need some profession help. Shrink alert!

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  • Rumpy Stumpy

    I get it - they are trying to plead insanity as defence.

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  • Everyone is wrong except Declan ..... who said that? It was Declan so it must be right.
    @abc def ... everything you say is correct, except perhaps your last sentence .... I hope you are right but they have wriggled of the hook many times before and, in law, there is never any certainty and justice is not always done.

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  • DT = Comical Ali

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  • Wow, abc def posting deleted!

    Did it offend the Morrison's by speaking truth about their approach to dealing with ex-staff, indeed , dealing with anyone they owe money to?

    A rather long list by now I suspect.

    Just as well Google also has cached items, makes deleting it rather pointless!

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  • Hi Chuck,

    We removed the posting on the request of one of our reporters who wanted to investigate the claims made.

    Anna Winston
    Online editor

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