Grampian facing possible strike action

Unions have indicated that they are considering balloting for strike action at Grampian Country Food Group plants over job losses and increasing use of agency workers.

TGWU representatives are to meet to consider balloting its 2,000 members over strike action at the plants.

Chris Kaufman, the TGWU national secretary for food and agriculture, said: "This should not come as a shock to Grampian. We have warned the directors that, unless they got a grip of what was happening at their various plants, we would go down this route. They haven't, so we will."

However the company has responded by saying it is surprised by the TGWU position.

A company spokesman said:"Over recent months, the company has been in regular contact at both local and national level with the union to discuss the issues the business is currently facing. As a result, we were surprised to learn of the announcement made by the TGWU.

"The company is operating in an increasingly competitive marketplace, with a growing regulatory burden adding significant cost, and steps have to be taken to ensure the business continues to remain viable and competitive."

Unions have been increasingly worried by job cuts within the group.

The company has recently announced Job losses and plant closures in Scotland and Shropshire.

And now in a further move the company has revealed that it is considering stopping cooked-meat production at its pork-processing site at Ashton, Manchester, due in part to over capacity and cheap imports. The closure could cost up to 400 jobs.

A company spokesman at the Ashton plant said: "The company will do all within its power to mitigate the job losses and to find alternative work for the colleagues affected."

Grampian would consolidate its cooked-meat production at its cooked meat plant in Malton, Yorks.