Unite the union has accused management at UK meat firm Tulip of "bribing" employees in an ongoing dispute over redundancy pay.

Around 200 workers at Tulip took part in a demonstration at the firm's Birkenhead on the Wirral plant last week, over fears they could lose their redundancy pay.

However, in a statement today (19 March), Unite said the dispute has "escalated" with the management "bribing employees over redundancy pay".

The union said workers were "angry" that after just 38 days of ownership, Tulip had closed down the Tranfoods meat packaging site earlier this month.

Unite said last year's enhanced redundancy terms should apply, which the new management "refuses to pay", in addition to lieu of notice in a lump sum, unless workers accept statutory minimum redundancy pay.

"The arrogance of this company and its representatives is unbelievable," said Unite regional officer, Franny Joyce. "They have taken workers' jobs, locked them out, and disgracefully taken 50% of their redundancy pay by not agreeing to the enhanced redundancy terms.

"Now managers are trying to bribe them to go quietly or they will prevent them from trying to get a new job for the duration of their notice period."

Unite said it will now be calling on Danish Crown - Tulip's parent company - to intervene and "bring this appalling treatment of its Birkenhead employees to an end".

Tulip said it is moving production to Bodmin in Cornwall. The Birkenhead plant supplies cooked meats to Tesco.

Tulip did not return comment at the time of going to press.