Industrial stand-off at Omagh Meats

Industrial action has reached a stalemate at Northern Irish beef primal processor Omagh Meats as a dispute over restructuring production lines continues.

Around 70 workers from the kill area of the Doogary Road plant in Omagh are on strike after the company revealed plans to introduce new stands and reduce staffing levels, as well as altering start and finishing times.  

The workers affected by the restructuring voted in favour of industrial action after talks broke down between workers and management on 26 August. The company responded by threatening to close the factory temporarily on Friday, saying it could not guarantee work at the plant. However, it did not go through with the threat.  

Gareth Scott of Unite, the union in Londonderry, has called on the employers to restart negotiations and find a compromise to the situation. The union had offered to join the company in discussions with the Northern Ireland Labour Relations Agency.

However Scott told Meat Trades Journal that the situation was a stalemate.  

He said: “The kill line has been revised and the deep concern with the new stands and reduced staffing is that it will bring an increased workload.”  

A spokesman for Omagh Meat said: “We are in full production at the moment and we have no further comment to make.”

Omagh Meats is part of the Foyle Food Group. It employs around 230 workers at the plant, which has the capacity to process over 2,000 cattle per week.

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