Tulip workers' demo follows plant closure
Published:  13 March, 2012

More than 200 workers at Tulip’s Birkenhead cooked meat factory are staging a demonstration today (13 March) in protest that the company has reneged on an agreed redundancy package, following the abrupt closure of the site last week. 

Tulip, which bought the former Tranfoods factory in November, has been in a 90-day consultation with the 218 employees at the plant since January, following the announcement that it was unable to address a number of operational and technical issues at the loss-making facility. Production will be moved to Bodmin in Cornwall.

Last week, Peter Judge, chief operating officer at Tulip, confirmed that all production at the site was to cease as a result of operational issues. He said: “Although everyone at Tranfoods has been working very hard, the operational difficulties have proven to be far greater than first envisaged and have left us with no viable option other than to cease production.

“Our priority now will be to find ways in which to lessen the impact of today’s decision and we will be working closely with everyone at the site.”

However, union Unite has claimed that the meat company closed the plant early and has reneged on an enhanced redundancy deal, offering only the minimum statutory payment. It said that Tulip had informed the workers by letter last week that Unite had agreed to the proposed closure and accepted in principle to immediately end production, a position denied by the union.

Tulip is meeting with members of Unite today to discuss a way forward.  

Unite regional officer, Franny Joyce said the union would make the case very strongly that the firm should honour its enhanced redundancy package to former Tranfoods employees. She 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."

>Tulip angers union by closing Wirral plant

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