June 04, 2006 19:01 ET

Amicus begins its legal battle against publishing giant

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - June 4, 2006) - Amicus, Britain's largest private sector union is today launching a legal battle in support of its members working at Macmillan Publishers.

Amicus has requested that the company, which employs around 1400 people in the UK, recognises the collective bargaining rights of its workers at its distribution centre in Swansea.

Employees in the Swansea (Pontardulais) warehouse, which employs 107 people, joined Amicus to gain the same trade union recognition rights which are enjoyed by Macmillan employees at other sites in London, Oxford and Basingstoke.

Union recognition law states that if more than 50% of a workforce joins a union the company must recognise their union for collective bargaining - the right to negotiate pay and conditions.

Amicus Assistant General Secretary, Tony Burke, says:

"It is very disappointing that Macmillan Publishers seem to want to disadvantage our members in Swansea by attempting to deny them their right to trade union recognition. It is especially confusing and frustrating to our members as other sites around the country already have union recognition and have done for many years now.

"Amicus representatives across Macmillan's have been watching this situation very closely. They have become increasingly concerned at the company's apparent disregard for their employees rights."

Despite repeated attempts to contact the company both formally and informally, Amicus is now left with no other option than to begin a claim for statutory trade union recognition thought the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC).

Tony Burke added: "Macmillan's UK management seem to think that by ignoring their employees requests for union rights at Swansea the issue will go away. Their approach to this issue is antiquated - not listening to the views of their employees is hardly the way to deal with this very important issue."

Amicus today delivered messages to the company's management at its head quarters. These messages were sent from Macmillan employee representatives from London, Oxford and Basingstoke.

In addition messages of support have been sent from the three German publishing works councils of the parent company, Holtzbrinck. These messages support Amicus members in Swansea and call on the company recognise their rights to trade union recognition.


For further information contact Tony Burke on 020 7420 8981, Jamie Major Senior Organiser on 07879 692021 or Ashraf Choudhury in the Amicus press office on 020 7420 8914 or 07980 224761.

Contact Information

  • Amicus
    Tony Burke
    020 7420 8981
    Jamie Major
    Senior Organiser
    07879 692021
    Amicus Press Office
    Ashraf Choudhury
    020 7420 8914 or 07980 224761