Dunbia slams union Unite

Meat processor Dunbia has criticised union Unite for making “inaccurate” allegations over the company’s toilet break policy at its plant in Sawley, Lancashire.

Over 80 workers belonging to the Unite union are set to take Dunbia to a tribunal over claims pay was docked for toilet breaks, it has been reported. However, the processor said it runs a policy requiring workers to clock in and out when accessing/leaving major food processing production floor areas, including visiting the toilet, and it claimed staff have had their weekly wage increased to compensate for this.

A Dunbia spokesperson said: “Hourly paid Dunbia employees are paid an additional sum of money each week to compensate for having to clock in and out from the factory floor, and all hourly paid staff have been personally informed on the rationale for this procedure.”

The company said its comfort break scheme has been in practice since 2002 and was originally drawn up with the full co-operation and involvement of the employees. It added that staff are paid the additional allowance even when they do not use the time allocated for toilet breaks.

Unite first made allegations that Dunbia workers were being forced to take unpaid toilet breaks in November 2009 and it is now looking at taking the matter to a tribunal, according to other media reports.

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