Disgruntled former Globespan employees could take their case to an employment tribunal after they lost their jobs a week before Christmas.

Globespan’s 650 full-time staff, including cabin crew, ground staff and check-in clerks, were left unemployed when the airline failed in December 2009.

Independent consultant and former trade union official Mark Irvine, who writes the Action 4 Equality Scotland blog, organised a meeting in Edinburgh earlier this month after receiving enquiries from the airline’s workers.

He said former Globespan staff could claim for a protective award, which occurs when more than 20 workers lose their jobs without notice or consultation. Companies are still obliged to consult a representative of employees, such as a trade union, if they expect to enter administration.

If the employees’ claim is successful, the award, which could be for up to 90 days’ pay, would be likely to be paid by the government rather than the administrator.

Irvine said: “By all accounts the entire Globespan work-force was dumped upon and no one knew in advance how bumpy the landing would be.

“They have to pursue these rights actively; no one is likely to hand them over on a plate.

“As in many of these situations, knowledge is power. Most people are not even aware they have a claim for a protective award.”

A former baggage handler for the airline, who did not wish to be named, said he found out about the demise of Globespan only through a television news report. The employee worked for Alba Ground Handling, which was owned by Globespan Group. 

“I was watching the evening news and it said that Globespan had been put into administration. I knew nothing about it,” he said. “I’ve heard nothing since apart from a letter from the administrators.”

A total of 12 employees attended the initial meeting in Edinburgh, and Irvine expects more to get in touch. He said the former employees might also have a claim for unfair dismissal, lost holiday pay, unpaid wages and incorrect contract terms.