UK Meat Inspectors - Strike Action

21 November 2008

MEAT INSPECTORS VOTE 2-1 FOR STRIKE ACTION IN RUN-UP TO CHRISTMAS

Britain’s meat hygiene inspectors have voted two to one in favour of strike action in a dispute over cuts to overtime payments and the introduction of a “work anytime” system.

The inspectors, members of UNISON, who make sure that the meat on our plates is safe to eat, voted in favour of strike action by 65.7% to 34.3%. They also voted by 79.5% to 20.5% for action short of a strike.

A strike in the meat hygiene service would seriously disrupt supplies of meat to supermarkets in the crucial pre-Christmas period.

Simon Watson, UNISON National Officer for Meat Inspectors, said:

“This is a decisive vote for strike action and shows the strength of feeling of meat inspectors. Unless the employers abandon their plans and get back around the table to negotiate a settlement, the industry could lose millions of pounds in lost meat production in the run up to Christmas.”

The union meets on Monday (24 November) to discuss the next steps.

UNISON represents 1000 members of the Meat Hygiene Service, who inspect red meat, white meat, and poultry plants across the UK.