Moy Park staff threaten strike action next month

Three thousand staff at Moy Park could strike next month over working conditions. Pictured is the company's Dungannon facility
Gareth McKeown

THREE thousand staff at poultry giant Moy Park could strike next month in a row over working conditions.

Trade union Unite, which represents roughly half of Moy Park staff in Northern Ireland said there is "deep resentment" among staff, who are struggling to sustain production following the departure of over a thousand workers in the past six months. Unite has accused the company of attempting to remove staff shift premiums at its Craigavon and Dungannon sites and said 95 per cent staff supported strike action in a consultative ballot held last week

Unite regional officer for the agri-food sector in Northern Ireland, Sean McKeever believes there is a "genuine risk" of industrial action in the next month due to the behaviour of company management, acting on behalf of new owners Pilgrim's Pride.

“Unite is now in pay talks where management appear intent on removing workers' shift premiums – one of the only benefits keeping the majority above poverty pay rates. They have made an offer of a paltry pay increase which will barely compensate for inflation, but which is worthless considering the longstanding commitment of the UK government to raise the minimum wage to £9 an hour," he said.

“Moy Park bosses must reverse course to avoid an imminent strike ballot and the severe disruption that would follow. There is widespread resentment simmering among the workforce - in the absence of a more reasonable approach by management a strike ballot on all-out action will be opened within days”, Mr McKeever added.

A spokesperson for Moy Park said: "We continue to liaise with union representatives and we are hopeful that agreement can be found in the coming days."

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