Thursday, March 05, 2009

Dundee workers occupy plant

This is the kind of resistance we need:

Workers at a packaging firm in Dundee are occupying their factory after being told they were sacked and that the company had no money to pay their redundancy.

One of the workers, Matthew, spoke to Socialist Worker from the occupied factory.

He said, “We are staying here to make the point that it is not acceptable to treat long-serving employees in this way. We demand some respect.”

Matthew explained that the 12 employees at Prisme Packaging came to work as normal on Monday. At around 9am the managing director resigned and the workers were told to phone the company secretary if they wanted to find out what was going on or what to do next.

The workers were later told that the company secretary was on holiday.

This morning someone the workers had never met before turned up at the factory and said that he was a company director. He brought a lawyer and told the workers that the company was ceasing trading.

“They had no documentation so we sent them away,” said Matthew. “They came back later in the day with redundancy letters for each employee detailing redundancy entitlement. At the bottom of the letters it said that there was no money to pay this entitlement and that we should go to the Citizens Advice Bureau for help.

“This is devastating news – there are some people who have worked here for 12 or 14 years.

“The mood was growing throughout the day that we had to do something about the situation so we decided to stay put. We need some more answers about what is going on. We want to get the word out about what is happening and we want what is legally ours.”

Send messages of support to matthewh@prisme.co.uk