Page last updated at 16:26 GMT, Tuesday, 29 April 2008 17:26 UK

MP's fury over sacked print staff

Redundancy notice
Workers received the letters on Saturday morning

An MP said the treatment of a group of sacked Somerset print workers had been "shabby".

Lib Dem MP David Heath expressed his concern over the sacking by post at the weekend of 287 employees at Butler and Tanner Printers of Frome.

He said suggestions that a new company could be created with the old firm's assets were "redolent of a Victorian mill owner".

Mr Heath had called for an emergency Commons debate on the issue.

The firm's employees were sacked on Saturday leaving them owed nearly 400,000 in wages and pensions contributions.

He said Media & Print Investments (the parent company) chairman, Mike Dolan, had, issued an "extraordinarily intemperate press release".

In this he blamed the closure on a threat by the trade union Unite to take strike action in response to new contracts.

Mr Heath told the Commons he was "alarmed" at the "conjecture that having closed the company, Media & Print Investments might create a phoenix company using Butler and Tanner but a non-unionised workforce".

Commons Speaker Michael Martin rejected his call for a debate saying it was not appropriate for discussion under the House rules.

Sacked printers fight redundancy
27 Apr 08 |  Somerset
Hundreds of print staff lose jobs
26 Apr 08 |  Somerset

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