Unite is demanding fair treatment for workers locked out from Tesco supplier of cooked meats just 38 days after new company takeover


More than 200 workers at the Tulip food packaging firm in Birkenhead, who were locked out last week, are demonstrating today in a battle over redundancies.

The factory was taken over in December.

After just 38 days of ownership, Tulip announced it intended to close the former Tranfoods meat packaging site, which has supplied the supermarket giant Tesco for decades.

The site was boarded up last Monday.

The company told workers not to come back and that it was moving production from the Wirral to Bodmin in Cornwall.

Management is now threatening to pay only the statutory minimum to 218 staff who look likely to lose their jobs.

This is in contrast to public statements that it wants to ‘work closely with everyone at the site’ to ‘lessen the impact’ of closure.

Unite regional officer Franny Joyce told UnionNews: “Soon after the take-over, the company suddenly announced they were having ‘operational problems’.

“Then suddenly Tesco said they would refuse to take any further supplies from the factory, despite awarding the factory a green light only last November and after thirty years of having no trouble.

“It was all very convenient for Tulip. It was clear the company just wanted to cut and run.

“Well, now this is the first opportunity for workers to make their feelings known to the company.”

Unite officials are due to meet the company at its Abbey Road office in Birkenhead this morning at 9am. They say they will be demanding that the firm honours a previous commitment to an enhanced redundancy package offered to former Transfoods workers.

At the time of the take-over, Tulip announced it was investing £20 million to expand capacity at other sites such as Ashton in Cheshire and Spalding in Lincolnshire.

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