Pickets to be established outside manufacturer of agricultural sacks from 6am tomorrow [Thursday May 4th] 

Strike follows ballot of Unite the union members which returned 91% for strike action on 100% turnout

Production at MM Bangor is set to be brought to a standstill tomorrow as workers commence strike action at the site. The company, which is owned by Mayr-Melnhof Karton AG group, is the only manufacturer of agricultural sacks used by the likes of Lakeland Dairies and Dairygold on the island of Ireland.

The MM Bangor workforce are highly skilled packaging operatives but receive little above the bare legal minimum wage. Workers are seeking an inflation-proofed increase bringing them above the real Living Wage – which reflects the real cost of living pressures on workers.

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham expressed her support for the workforce.

“MM Bangor is a very successful company experiencing a significant increase in both sales and profits post-pandemic. In 2021 the company reported an operating profit of £624k on sales of £10 million. 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.

“These companies can well afford to pay a living wage to the workers who contribute to their success. The workers at MM Bangor will 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.

“These businesses are churning huge profits but they are doing so at the expense of their skilled employees who are forced to survive on little more than the bare legal minimum wage. The workforce at MM are determined to win a living wage and secure some protection from the cost of living crisis.”