ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

Producers: Prepare for Slaughterhouse Disruption

by 5m Editor
24 November 2008, at 12:39p.m.

UK - Poultry slaughtering may be disrupted in the week beginning Monday 1 December, or Monday 8 December, as a result of a 72-hour strike called by Meat Hygiene Service workers.

Producers are now being warned to make contingency plans in case the industrial action goes ahead although the Meat Hygiene Service believes further talks may yet prevent the strike going ahead.

It says it has laid plans to ensure production will not be seriously disrupted.

Unison workers are striking because they want more money and to work less flexible hours. Processors think they are out of tune with the times.

“In today’s world, it is not unreasonable to expect people to work flexibly," said British Meat Processors Association director Stuart Roberts on Friday. "A pay rise is probably overdue but the notion of permanently fixed hours and contractual overtime is now all but consigned to employment history.”

Allan Jess, president of the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, said: “It’s a crazy situation in which our members and their staff stand to lose out badly, without having any authority to even talk to inspectors about their concerns."

On Friday the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) responded to the UNISON's members vote for industrial action by stating that it believes that through further talks the two parties can reach an agreement.

Steve McGrath, Chief Executive, MHS said: "We have noted the result of UNISON's ballot of their members. We have always felt that it would be possible to reach a negotiated settlement which reflected both a fair deal for our staff and a commitment to modernising the Meat Hygiene Service. We look forward to continuing that dialogue at our meeting on Monday."

The MHS said it has plans in place to ensure that in the event of industrial action, meat production will not be seriously disrupted.

5m Editor