BREAKING: Meat inspectors prepare for strike action

Food Standards Agency (FSA) meat inspectors are set for two four-hour walkouts on 26 and 27 August over pay disputes.

The strikes will take place from 6:30am-10:30am on the aforementioned dates, after trade union Unison’s FSA members voted for the action after an imposed offer of 0.75%. However, the FSA said there will not be any effect on meat supplies to shops and supermarkets.

Unison is seeking “an above-inflation pay increase that would begin to make up some of the 15% that has been lost from the pay packets of FSA staff under the coalition government”.

Unison said it had previously invited the FSA to resolve the pay dispute through independent conciliation. General secretary Dave Prentis added: “Staff in slaughterhouses work in some of the most dirty, difficult and stressful conditions, surrounded by blood and faeces, to keep the public safe from contaminated meat.

“It is only fair that our members receive a pay increase that is at least in line with inflation. They should be recognised for the vital role they play in safeguarding the human food chain against harmful and repulsive dirt and diseases.

“It is not too late for the FSA to avoid the prospect of a strike that may well clear supermarket shelves and butchers’ shops of meat in the barbecue season.”

An FSA spokesperson responded: “The FSA is disappointed that Unison has decided to call industrial action next week, at a time when Unison has said it is committed to ongoing talks with us. We are continuing to hold discussions with Unison, but in the event that the planned strike action goes ahead, we would not expect there to be an effect on meat supplies to shops and supermarkets.”

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