Meat inspectors balloted over strike action

Meat hygiene inspectors are to be balloted on strike action in a dispute over pay, union bosses have announced.

More than 1,000 members of the Meat Hygyiene Service will be balloted after employers refused to give workers their annual pay increase, UNISON claimed.

The union said its members were currently in dispute with the MHS over plans to cut their unsocial hours payments and change to their working hours. It said it was calling for action after the MHS refused to pay staff their agreed pay increase until the dispute over terms and conditions is resolved.

"It is an outrageous way to treat staff who have not had a pay rise since August 2006," said UNISON national officer Simon Watson.

Steve McGrath, chief executive of the MHS said: "We are aware of Unison's intention to ballot its members. We remain committed to negotiations to resolve these issues amicably. In the regrettable event of industrial action, we have fully-tested contingency plans in place to ensure that there will be minimal disruption to our service."