Bosses at the Tranfoods plant in Wirral, Merseyside have 'locked out' the workers during negotations over redundancy. The Unions claim that the bosses have reneged on a redundancy offer and are now only prepared to pay 'statutory redundancy'. The owners of Tranfoods, 'Tulip', have only owned the business 38 days and plan to move production to Cornwall. This is the second 'lock out' on Merseyside in less than a month.
Around 200 workers at Tranfoods in Wirral, Merseyside today held a demonstration outside the factory after being ‘locked out’ last week by the management.
The owners of the factory, ‘Tulip’, had started a period of consultation with a view to closing the factory due to a decline in orders. The unions had been in negotiation with Tulip regarding redundancy pay, but have accused Tulip of reneging on an agreement. Tulip deny that any agreement was ever reached, and are now saying they will only pay the basic legal minimum redundancy.
When workers arrived for work last week, they found the gates locked. They were handed letters advising them that:
“Production had ceased at the plant due to significant operational issues”
No further information was provided. Today’s demonstration will coincide with a meeting at the plant between the bosses and the trade unions.”
A trade union spokesman said:
“The workers have been treated with contempt by Tulip which is the UK arm of Danish Crown, who took over the plant last December. After just 38 days of ownership they have announced the closure of this site, locked out the workers, and boarded up the site”.
Tulip have issued a brief statement in which they say:
“All the staff are Tranfoods have been working extremely hard, but the operational difficulties are far worse than we envisaged”.
Tulip, who make cooked meat products for Tesco now plan to shift all production to a factory in Cornwall.
Solidarity with the Tranfood Workers!
This is the second factory on Merseyside to lock out its workers in less than a month.
Update - http://union-news.co.uk/2012/03/9721/