Tulip slammed by Unite for Tranfoods ‘bribery’

By Dan Colombini

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Unite the union, Tulip

Unite the Union has accused Tulip of attempting to bribe workers at the Tranfoods site
Unite the Union has accused Tulip of attempting to bribe workers at the Tranfoods site
The row between meat processing firm Tulip and workers at its Tranfoods plant in Birkenhead has escalated today after Unite the Union accused management of bribing its employees over redundancy pay.

The union has slammed the firm for attempting to penalise its workers into accepting a lesser redundancy package. It also accused Tulip of preventing staff from gaining alternative employment during their notice period.

The union confirmed it would now be calling on Tulip’s parent firm Danish Crown to intervene in a bid to resolve the row at the Abbey Street site.

This comes after Unite claimed that staff had been locked out of the site after Tulip abruptly closed the factory on March 6.

Arrogance

Unite regional officer, Franny Joyce said: “The arrogance of this company and its representatives is unbelievable. They have taken workers’ jobs, locked them out, and disgracefully taken 50% of their redundancy pay by not agreeing to the enhanced redundancy terms.

 “Now managers are trying to bribe them to go quietly or they will prevent them from trying to get a new job for the duration of their notice period​.”

Joyce said that representatives of the workers, who last week attended the Ethical Trading Initiative’s annual meeting, were “astonished​” at the firm’s behaviour. He also questioned whether the firm could “stoop any lower​” and called on Tulip to resolve the issue promptly.

This is the latest in a series of accusations that the union has levelled at the firm. Unite previously hit out at Tulip for its “vulture-like behaviour​” after the 218 workers were informed of the closure and immediate end to production at the site.

Statutory minimum

Management was now threatening to only pay the statutory minimum to the workers, Unite has claimed.

Tulip was unavailable for comment at the time of publication. But, speaking last week, Peter Judge, chief operating officer at Tulip, blamed the early closure on a number of operational and production problems.

He said: “There have been a number of operational issues with the Abbey Street site that has meant we have had to take the very difficult decision to cease all production as from today.

“Although everyone at Tranfoods has been working very hard, the operational difficulties have proved to be far greater than first envisaged and have left us with no viable option other than to cease production​.”

As a result, production would now be moved to Bodmin in Cornwall, according to the firm.

 

 

 

 

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