Meat inspectors to strike on 2 December

Unison has told the meat processing industry and Meat Hygiene Service bosses it will go out on a 72 hour strike on 2 December.

Meat hygiene inspectors voted last week two to one in favour of strike action in a dispute over cuts to overtime payments and the introduction of a 'work anytime' system.

They rejected the 8% pay award proposed by MHS for the two years 2007-2008 and the £1,000 one off payment for a change in their working terms and conditions

MHS chief executive Steve McGrath told MTJ: "We have today received formal notification of UNISON's intention to hold industrial action on 2, 3, 4 December. This reflects a legal requirement to provide seven days notice of such action."

However. he added: "This should not be seen as indicative of negotiations between the two parties. In yesterday's meeting in York, constructive talks took place and further discussions will be held during the course of this week. We continue to plan for every eventuality and we are working closely with the meat industry to ensure that in the regrettable event of industrial action, disruption will be minimised.

However, I firmly believe that we can reach an agreement through negotiation."