MHS in talks to avoid strike action

Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) bosses will meet with meat inspectors today in an attempt to dissuade them from taking strike action.

Members of trade union Unison voted 2-1 in favour of pre-Christmas industrial action last week following a dispute over pay and working conditions.

Simon Watson, Unison national officer for meat inspectors, said that the MHS must abandon its plans altogether and renegotiate a settlement if it is to avoid a strike which could cost the industry millions in the run up to Christmas.

MHS bosses insist that they are confident they can avoid strike action and reach a settlement in today's talks.

Chief executive Steve McGrath said: "We have always felt that it would be possible to reach a negotiated settlement which reflected both a fair deal for our staff and a commitment to modernising the Meat Hygiene Service."

The MHS has assured the meat industry that it has plans in place to prevent any major disruption in the event of any industrial action.

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