Unite claims management is trying to break union

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The Unite union has upped the rhetoric in advance of a protest and meeting due to take place outside engineering plant, Maydown Precision Engineering (MPE), later this afternoon.

Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly has written to members accusing management of trying to “break the union” after the plant was taken over by the Waterford and Leicester-based Schivo group last month.

In a union circular, Mr Kelly wrote: “As you are aware the Union is currently in dispute with MPE.

“The company was recently bought over by Waterford-based Schivo, owned by Seamus Kilgannon and he along with the L/Derry management has initiated a campaign to break the union within MPE.

“We believe based on this that the union must show solidarity to those already dismissed and support for those still working with MPE/Scivo NI, that Unite is not a Union that will just roll over when attacked by unscrupulous employers.”

Mr Kelly informed members that Unite had written to Mr Kilgannon to ask for a meeting.

He added: “The Union has already engaged with local political representatives from both Sinn Féin and the SDLP in the L/Derry area and we have inforned both Derry Trades’ Council and local Unite in the Community branch activists of the situation.”

A union protest is due to take place outside MPE on Thursday from 4pm. A related protest is scheduled to take place in Waterford at 1pm.