Bosses at the Transfoods food packaging plant in Birkenhead, near Liverpool, have joined employers at the Mayr-Melnhof Packaging plant in Bootle in locking out hundreds of workers after employees’ protests against redundancies.
Just 38 days after new management took over the factory, workers were told that work would be moving to a site in Bodmin, Cornwall. The plant was summarily closed and workers found themselves locked out. Unite, the workers’ union, had agreed a redundancy package but it now looks as if bosses will renege on that agreement and pay the 218 workers likely to lose their jobs only the statutory minimum.
Locked-out workers demonstrated at the plant on Tuesday 13 March.
Unite officer Franny Joyce said: “The workers have been treated with contempt by Tulip, which is the UK arm of Danish Crown and took over the plant last December.
“After just 38 days of ownership, they announced the closure of this site and last Monday they locked out the employees and boarded up the plant.”
If 2011 was the year of the use of mass sackings to undermine workers’ organisation, 2012 may be seeing the return of the lock-out.