Almost 150 workers at Austrian-based packaging firm Mayr-Melnhof Packaging (MMP) have received letters informing them of the company’s unilateral decision to dismiss all staff and close the factory.
Staff have been locked out of the Liverpool plant for 41 days and unable to return to work since the company imposed a lock out on 18 February.
The sacked workers have now taken their fight to the Austrian embassy in London with the support of Unite the union, which has lambasted the company’s treatment of its 149 staff.
It says that the Austrian company has refused to negotiate openly and fairly and unfairly selected 49 people for redundancy forcing workers into accepting poorer redundancy terms. The remainder have all now received letters of dismissal.
Unite’s general secretary Len McCluskey will now deliver a letter to Austrian ambassador to the UK Emil Brix as part of the campaign to end the lock out and get the workers reinstated. Unite is calling for ambassador Brix’s support to use his influence with the Austrian government to urge MMP to reopen talks.
The workers, who produce food packaging for international brands in Bootle, Liverpool, have been protesting outside the Austrian embassy to escalate their concerns over the intimidating behaviour by Austrian-based MMP management during a serious and increasingly acrimonious industrial dispute.
Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “These letters sent out to workers telling them that they will be made redundant is nothing short of disgraceful. Our members are infuriated that during an imposed lock out management has decided this will happen.”
Mr Burke added: “The proposed closure of the Bootle factory has left this committed and loyal workforce feeling as though they are being abandoned. They have treated the workforce like dirt!”