Austria-based Mayr-Melnhof locks out workers at its plant in Bootle, England, after they stage protest inside the building; emergency talks held between company, Unite union to try to resolve dispute over redundancy proposals

LOS ANGELES , February 21, 2012 () – Austria-based Mayr-Melnhof Karton AG has locked out workers at its packaging plant in Bootle, England, after a protest was staged inside the building on Feb. 18, reported Packaging News on Feb. 21.

Emergency talks were held on Feb. 20 in an attempt to resolve the dispute, which is over the company’s redundancy proposals.

The lockout, a tactic rarely used, is thought to be the first at a printing or packaging company for more than 50 years, Packaging News reported.

Workers began what trade union Unite called a peaceful protest inside the plant on Feb. 18, after they were asked to leave the building and told that the company was going to lock them out.

The protest was started after a 24-hour strike began at the plant on Feb. 17. The union was striking against what is sees as unfair terms and conditions for laying off certain people working at the plant.

As of Feb. 21, workers were still locked out of the plant, reported Packaging News.

Mayr-Melnhof officials at the company’s headquarters in Vienna declined to comment, while Unite national officer Ian Tonks was unavailable.

Tonks, who took part in the emergency negotiations on Feb. 20, said prior to the talks that the union was seeking “the same criteria and terms and conditions that has [sic] been used in the past, not something that is designed to highlight certain people,” Packaging News reported.

The primary source of this article is Packaging News, London, England, on Feb. 21, 2012.

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.