More than 100 workers at Northampton packaging firm enter second day of strike action over ‘sackings’

Workers have formed a picket line at Moulton Way firm Smurfit Kappa, over the alleged firing of two employees.
Workers have formed a picket line at Moulton Way firm Smurfit Kappa, over the alleged firing of two employees.
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More than 100 packaging firm workers in Northampton have gone on strike again today over the alleged sacking of two of its union members.

Industrial action at corrugated packaging company Smurfit Kappa, in Moulton Way, started last week following a ballot of Unite union members following concerns over the way two stewards were dismissed.

One of the signposts striking workers have displayed outside Smurfit Kappa in Northampton this morning.

One of the signposts striking workers have displayed outside Smurfit Kappa in Northampton this morning.

Workers voted for an overtime ban and have been working to rule at the company since March 24.

But the union says its demands, including reinstating the sacked stewards, have not been met so far and yesterday 108 workers embarked on a 48-hour strike.

A total of 50 employees also formed a picket line outsidethe Moulton Way firm today.

Unite regional officer Mick Orpin said: “Unless we can get a result, the likelihood is there is going to be further industrial action.

“We are looking to do something nationally as well.

“The pressure is on the company now.”

Mr Orpin said attempts to engage Smurfit Kappa bosses in talks have so far failed, though he said the union is continuing attempts to get the company ‘round the table’.

He continued: “We don’t think there is a legitimate reason to fire the two men.

“We are currently going through an appeals process with those employees.

“But we believe a reasonable company would not dismiss these individuals on this basis.”

Smurfit Kappa has around 42,000 employees worldwide and claims to be one of the world’s leading providers of paper -based packaging.

The company has declined to comment over the strike action today.