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Good News: Meat Strike Called Off

by 5m Editor
26 November 2008, at 9:21a.m.

UK - Meat hygiene employers have agreed to pay a long-overdue pay rise to UNISON members – and the union is calling off strike action which members voted for last week.

The 2.99 per cent increase, backdated to August 2007, will be paid in the new year, in time to help with post-Christmas bills.

As well as putting money into members' pockets, today's agreement also gives breathing space for further talks on changes to work patterns.


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"The festive period is such an important time for farmers and the meat trade. The potential for disruption was hanging over the industry but now that has been lifted, we can all look forward to this busy spell."
Nigel Miller, NFU Scotland Vice-President

UNISON has been working hard to avert a strike, which would have seriously disrupted meat supplies across the country in the run-up to Christmas.

"Taking strike action is always a last resort," said Simon Watson, the union’s national officer for meat inspectors.

"We still have some tough talking to do over the 'work anytime' proposals and members have a right to expect movement on their 2008 pay deal.

"However, today's agreement with the Meat Hygiene Service signals a willingness to reach a negotiated agreement and UNISON will work hard to ensure that we get the best deal possible for our members."

Sighs of Relief

NFU Scotland and its members heaved a huge sigh of relief as the announcement was made.

With many Scottish livestock farmers, auction markets and the meat industry gearing up for the crucial Christmas period, strike action by meat inspectors had the potential to seriously disrupt supplies of all meat to butchers and supermarkets across the country ahead of the festivities.

NFU Scotland Vice-President Nigel Miller said: “The announcement that strike action in meat plants has been averted will bring some early Christmas cheer to farmers, butchers and – most importantly – consumers."

“The festive period is such an important time for farmers and the meat trade. The potential for disruption was hanging over the industry but now that has been lifted, we can all look forward to this busy spell," said Mr Miller.

“And the good news for those families getting together this holiday period is that supplies of fresh Scottish poultrymeat, beef, lamb, pork and venison are secure and that Scottish produce can remain the fitting centrepiece of any festive meal.”

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

5m Editor