Unite to begin targeted protests at supermarkets supplied by company at the centre of 5-week lock out of 150 print workers on Merseyside

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Unite has announced it is to take legal action against what it describes as the ‘rogue, aristocratic-owned’ company at the centre of a two-month lockout, over what it says is the unlawful dismissal of the 150-strong workforce and closure of the print and packaging site in Bootle on Merseyside.

The workers make packaging for some of the most popular breakfast cereals in the UK, including Frosties, Rice Krispies and Kellogg’s Cornflakes.

It has emerged this evening that the union will also stage a series of protests at supermarkets and other stores across the UK, designed to highlight the case of the MMP workers.

Unite says the conduct of the company is among the most shameful it has encountered.

It accuses the Austrian-owned company MMP of waging a war against the workforce, by first locking them out of the factory, then sacking 53 workers ‘in a concerted effort to break the workforce’s spirit and get them to accept poorer redundancy terms’.

In a move which some of the workforce had feared, the company last week announced it intended to close the factory altogether.

Unite says the decision breaches both UK and European legal obligations.

The first of the targeted demonstrations is to begin in Glasgow tomorrow morning.

Senior Scottish organiser Roz Foyer said: “Unite has been left with no option but to forcefully counter against this rogue employer.

“We will simply not stand by and let workers in this country be treated with such contempt.

“Those involved with MMP need to know the type of business they are associating themselves with and the general public need to know of the suppression of workers and their basic employment rights in 21st century Britain.

“We’re not going to go away on this. We will demonstrate at all businesses associated either directly or indirectly with MMP in the UK and Ireland for as long as the company refuses to negotiate in good faith.”

The union is also preparing an application in the Employment Tribunal claiming a protective award on behalf of all members made redundant, seeking the maximum remedy of 13 weeks gross pay for each member.

The sacked workers have been in a dispute with MMP since the company imposed a lock out on 18 February.


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