U.K. union Unite says Mayr-Melnhof's treatment of workers during redundancy dispute at its facility in Bootle, England, is unacceptable, urges public to write letters to company and request proper negotiations

LONDON , March 20, 2012 (press release) – Members of Unite, employed at Mayr-Melnhof Packaging (MMP) in Bootle, Merseyside are urging people to write to investors of MMP following sneak attacks on workers’ rights during a redundancy dispute.

Not content with stopping workers from returning to work Unite says the Austrian multi-national packaging company MMP has deliberately targeted attacks against its long serving workforce.

On 18 February 149 workers were locked out by management following strike action. MMP has avoided any meaningful negotiations with Unite despite willingness from the workforce to meet to resolve the dispute. The company has subjected Merseyside workers to a totally unfair disciplinary process - using various bullying and intimidation tactics – including the hiring of security guards. And last Friday (16 March) MMP issued redundancy notices to selected Unite members – forcing workers into accepting poorer redundancy terms – after no consultation with workers.

The workers are furious that MMP has punished them for taking lawful legitimate industrial action.

The letter calls for MMP investors to raise this unacceptable behaviour with the board and management of MMP at European level and at UK level. It also presses for the company to enter into serious negotiations with Unite to settle this damaging and unnecessary dispute.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “This is not an acceptable course of action, particularly by a multi-national company.

“Workers across the globe are not going to stand by while fellow workers are under attack and their livelihoods put in jeopardy by bullying bosses.

“What is also clear is that this prolonged lock-out and consultation was a total sham from start to finish. MMP has simply been stringing its loyal workforce along. There was no negotiation and no proper redundancy procedure. The company’s behaviour is nothing short of disgraceful.

“MMP workers are standing up for themselves and they have their union and fellow workers on their side. I would urge people to write to MMP investors asking them to use whatever influence they have to encourage senior management to sit down and talk with the union about ending this dispute.”

For further information please contact Unite communications officer Karen Viquerat on 07768 931 316 or 0151 559 2003.

Unite is urging people to email the following message to MMP investors:

"I am aware that at the Mayr-Melnhof Packaging (MMP) factory in Bootle, Merseyside, the company have locked out 149 workers and have failed to enter into realistic and proper negotiations with Unite to resolve the dispute. MMP has now subjected its workers in Merseyside to a totally unfair disciplinary process and intimidation from hired security guards.

In addition the company has issued redundancy notices to members of the Merseyside workforce despite a willingness on the part of the workers to meet to resolve the dispute.

I am writing to you as an investor in MMP to raise this matter with the board and management of MMP at European level and at UK level. I also request that you press the company to enter into proper negotiations with Unite to settle this damaging and unnecessary dispute."

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working in all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.

* 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.