Locked out Merseyside workers “have 100% support” – McCluskey

by - 25th February 2012, 7.55 BST

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey is meeting workers at Mayr-Melnhof Packaging (MMP) in Bootle on Merseyside this morning.

They have been locked-out of their workplace in a dispute with management since last Saturday (18th February).

UnionNews was the first media outlet to report the factory occupation (Pictured. Image courtesy of MMP strikers) in protest at last week’s action, the first of its kind in the UK for more than 50 years.

Len McCluskey is expected to tell workers on the picket line they have “100 per cent support” and that Unite is determined to fight for justice for them.

Workers at the Bootle site, which produces packaging for the food industry, have held a series of strikes since 10th February in support of the 37 workers threatened with redundancy.

Unite reps say talks have made some progress over the redundancy selection process and other terms, but the board of MMP UK continues to order that the workforce remains shut out.

Len McCluskey said: “The workers at MMP have Unite’s 100 per cent support. We are going to back them all the way.

“The management at this company must realise that locking its workers out and refusing to negotiate with the union will not achieve a thing. The only way to resolve this dispute is to get back around the table to negotiate a fair deal.

“If MMP does not see sense then we will have no choice but to escalate our campaign for justice for the locked-out workers.”

Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke will also visit the picket line on Sunday at lunchtime.