Saturday 25 February 2012

Support locked out MMP workers in Bootle

UNITE members at Mayr-Melnhof Packaging (MMP) in Bootle took selective strike action after the employer tried to make redundancies and not stick to an agreement on redundancy terms.

Disgracefully, MMP responded by locking all the workers out.  Talks with the company restarted after a brief occupation of the plant by workers last Saturday (18th), but the lockout continues.  According to pickets, the company is trying to lead customers and workers at the company's Deeside plant that the workers are striking rather than locked out.  This has come in for some mockery from pickets:

I managed to get over to Bootle to show support today, and found an impressive picket and spirits high.  A picketline stew last week is giving way to a hog-roast this week.
The closure of the plant is already having an impact on MMP customers, including Kelloggs cereals where apparently production of Cornflakes and other cereals has stopped.

MMP is trying to undermine the impact of the lockout by taking advantage of a "banked hours" scheme at the Deeside plant to increase production there.  Though the Deeside plant is not affected by the current redundancies, they are covered by the redundancy terms that MMP is breaking, so there is talk of Deeside workers being balloted for action.

Three other UNITE Executive Council members were there to show their support.  Len McCluskey addressed a rally late in the morning (locked gate clearly showing!):
Len pledged the union's full support and explained that work had begin on planning a "leverage" campaign, including targeting the supply chain.

Please do everything you can to support the MMP workers:
  • Visit the picketline at MMP, Dunnings Bridge Road, Bootle, L30 6TR
  • Send a message of support (contact details at the bottom of this press release)
  • Invite workers to visit your workplace or meeting to give an update and raise support
  • Send them money.  Contact me or the contact details above for the details.
For those of you in Greater Manchester, they intend to send a delegation to the Unite the Resistance launch meeting on Wednesday.