MM Bangor workforce denied cost of living increase while shareholders receive dividend

Union calls on employer to recognise that a paltry minimum wage increase plus one pound a day leaves workers suffering cost of living crunch

Strike action by workers at MM Bangor, a manufacturer of agricultural sacks, is now into its fourth day with members of Unite the union on the picket lines determined to secure a cost of living proofed pay increase. Workers have been offered a pay increase equivalent to the increase in the bare legal minimum wage and a non-consolidated payment of £350 – less than a pound a day – by employers.

Meanwhile the hugely profitable Mayr-Melnhof Karton AG group which owns the business is today set to pay out a dividend of Euro 4.20 today [May 10] on every share held.

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham expressed her continuing support for the striking workers.

“MM Bangor is a very successful company experiencing a significant increase in both sales and profits post-pandemic. The new owner Mayr-Melnhof Karton AG is one of the biggest agricultural suppliers globally with sales up more than 50% in 2022 to Eur 4.6 billion and an operating profit for the year of Eur 467 million.

“The workers who have generated part of these profits meanwhile are offered an increase equivalent to that for the bare legal minimum wage and a non-consolidated one-off payment worth less than a pound a day. That is disgraceful. The workers at MM Bangor have the full backing of Unite in their fight to win a cost of living increase and a living wage.”

Neil Moore is the lead Regional Officer for Unite for the workforce and he highlighted the ability to pay.

“Agricultural production, particularly in the milk sector, has never had it so good since the pandemic ended and now with increased demand due to the war in Ukraine. Not only is MM Bangor profit-making but so too is their ultimate owner Mayr-Melnhof Karton AG. The companies who are buying these agricultural sacks to contain varied range of animal feed as well as milk powder can also afford to pay more.

“Today we witnessed the disgraceful act of an employer calling the police on their own workers. Instead of them asking the police to escort vehicles past picket lines, management would be better off making an improved cost of living proofed pay increase to these low-paid workers.”