October 18, 2006 13:15 ET

Amicus angered by M-Real's proposal to close plant in Sittingbourne

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 18, 2006) - Amicus, Britain's largest manufacturing union has expressed its anger at M-Real's sudden proposal to close its paper and packaging plant in Sittingbourne, Kent.

Amicus members, without any consultation or notice, were told today that M-Real intends to close this site with the loss of 350 jobs. The paper mill in Sittingbourne is owned by parent company Metsaliitto based in Finland.

Commenting on the decision Amicus National Officer, Peter Ellis, said:

"We will not take Metsaliitto's proposal to close this site lying down. We owe it to our members and their families, who are angry, bitter and devastated, to do everything in our power to help.

"Metsaliitto have also decided to shut sites in Sweden and Germany. We will most certainly be contacting our sister unions there as well as contacting Paperiliitto, the Finnish paper union, to discuss a robust response to this tragic news where I am confident that we will get all the co-operation we need.

"The company are required by law to consult its European Works Council, in advance of any decision such as this. This did not happen and we will be considering our options in this regard.

"I am extremely disappointed that M-Real's proposal to close this site which is important to the local economy. It is disheartening that M-Real find it difficult to continue operating here, and its closure will be yet another indication to the meltdown in manufacturing in the UK."

The 90-day consultation period starts today and Amicus will press for an enhanced package for our members who will be affected by the closure.

Contact Information

  • Amicus
    Peter Ellis
    020 7780 4131
    07774 663499
    Amicus Press Office
    Ashraf Choudhury
    020 7420 8914
    07980 224761