Workers started strike action yesterday at Smurfit Kappa, one of the world’s leading packaging companies, in support of two well respected Trade Union representatives. The Unite Senior and Deputy Stewards were sacked for, bringing a claim against the employer for the incorrect payment of bonus payments owed to workers and confronting the Company about unfair practises. New second generation contracts would have meant new workers being paid less than existing workers for the same job.
Unite’s 108 members imposed a month-long overtime ban and have been working to rule since 24th March. Workers voted by 60 per cent for strike action and 73 per cent for action short of a strike and had warned last week that the strike would go ahead unless the stewards were ‘immediately reinstated’.
Unite regional officer Mick Orpin said: “it can be argued that this is a direct attack on our stewards and the fabric of our union. We call on Smurfit Kappa to reinstate the two stewards immediately. The management is behaving in a manner more suited to the industrial relations of 19th century than as a modern economy which is the world’s 6th largest.”
Smurfit Kappa employs approximately 42,000 people across 32 countries and is predicting this Financial Year, a pre-tax profit of €378 Million Euros, that’s in excess of £277 Million.
The case is due to be heard in the courts during April and is fully backed by Unite.
Unite Community Leeds offers our full support to the Unite Strike at Smurfit Kappa Northampton. We are right behind all the workers and the two senior stewards, who have been sacked by Smurfit Kappa
Your support and messages of solidarity are most welcome.
Regional Officer Mick Orpin at Mick.firstname.lastname@example.org,
07900 160 990
Unite Senior Communications officer Shaun Noble on 0776 869 3940