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Sacked big ‘brand’ packaging workers ask for help

29 March 2012

Locked out and sacked UK workers from Austrian multinational packaging firm MMP (Mayr-Melnhof Packaging) in Liverpool, along with breakfast cereal character effigies - Tony the Tiger, Coco Monkey and Cornelius Rooster - will take their fight to the Austrian Embassy in London in a bid to address the mistreatment of workers

The 149 workers, who had been locked out of the Liverpool plant for 41 days, have now received letters informing them of the company’s unilateral decision to dismiss all and close the factory. Unite is furious over the way MMP has handled the ongoing dispute and its unacceptable behaviour towards its members.

The sacked workers have been unable to return to work since the company imposed a lock out on 18 February. The Austrian company has refused to negotiate openly and fairly. It unfairly selected 49 people for redundancy forcing workers into accepting poorer redundancy terms. As well as sacking four workers following a sham disciplinary hearing. The remainder have all now received letters of dismissal.

Unite finds this unacceptable and will deliver a letter from Unite General Secretary, Len McCluskey to Ambassador Emil Brix as part of the campaign to end the lock out and get the workers reinstated. Unite is calling for Ambassador Brix’s support to use his influence with the Austrian Government to urge MMP to reopen talks with Unite.

The workers, who produce food packaging for international brands, will be protesting outside the Austrian Embassy to escalate their concerns over the intimidating behaviour by Austrian based MMP management during a serious and increasingly acrimonious industrial dispute.

Unite assistant general secretary, Tony Burke said: “These letters sent out to workers telling them that they will be made redundant is nothing short of disgraceful. Our members are infuriated that during an imposed lock out management has decided this will happen.

“The proposed closure of the Bootle factory has left this committed and loyal workforce feeling as though they are being abandoned. For several weeks, MMP has refused to even talk to us. They have treated their workforce like dirt!

“Enough is enough. Our members are protesting against the closure and the outrageous behaviour by MMP management.

“We urge the Austrian Ambassador to do everything he possibly can to make MMP return to talks and allow people to return to work to protect the services our members provide to international brands.”

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