Four day strike at Northampton packaging firm suspended

Four day strike at Northampton packaging firm suspended

15 April 2015

The four day strike at corrugated packaging company Smurfit Kappa in Northampton, due to start on Friday (17 April), has been suspended.

This is to allow the appeals of the two sacked senior stewards, members of Unite, the largest union in the country, to be heard on Friday.

There will then be a mass meeting of Unite’s 108 members on Sunday (19 April) to discuss the outcome of the appeals.

Unite regional officer Mick Orpin said: “The four day strike scheduled from Friday is suspended to allow the appeals of the two stewards, whose treatment by management is at the centre of this dispute, to be heard.

“There will be a mass meeting on Sunday to discuss the result of the appeals. Obviously, if the appeals fail, the strike remains very much on the cards.

“However, we are hopeful of a successful outcome, so we can rebuild relations with the company for the benefit of all.”

Unite members have already taken two days of strike action on 1 and 2 April  in support of their two dismissed colleagues who stood up to the company over ‘race to the bottom’ contracts and alleged incorrect bonus payments.

Unite members voted by 60 per cent for strike action and 73 per cent for action short of a strike over the dismissal of the first steward and the suspended second steward, since sacked.

Smurfit Kappa is one of the leading providers of paper-based packaging in the world, with about 42,000 employees across 32 countries.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite regional officer Mick Orpin on 07900 160990 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940. 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.