The 5-week lockout of print workers on Merseyside has sharply escalated, with MMP management informing some 150 staff of the “immediate closure” of the site. The Unite chapel (workplace branch) says more than 100 workers received letters yesterday info …

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The 5-week lockout of print workers on Merseyside has sharply escalated, with MMP management informing some 150 staff of the “immediate closure” of the site.

The Unite chapel (workplace branch) says more than 100 workers received letters yesterday informing them that they are being made redundant along with 48 laid off last week and further 4 workers sacked on the 15th March.

The Austrian-owned Merseyside plant produces packaging for a range of household name food and beverage companies, including breakfast cereal boxes for Kellogs.

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.”

Unite has organised a protest today (Friday) at the Austrian embassy in London, when officials plan to 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 on him and the Austrian Government to urge MMP to reopen talks on the future of the Bootle site.

Said Tony Burke: “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.”

In what the chapel describes as a further attempt at intimidation, managers have offered “off the record” meetings to the redundant workers to discuss extra payments, but only if they agree to attend without any union representatives.


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