Meat inspectors, official veterinarians and support staff employed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in England, Wales and Scotland are set to strike next week in a dispute over pay.
Two four-hour walkouts are scheduled to take place, from 6:30am – 10:30am on Tuesday 26 August and again on Wednesday 27 August.
The decision follows a ballot earlier this month, which saw UNISON’s FSA members overwhelmingly vote for strike action over an imposed pay offer of just 0.75%.
UNISON has previously invited the FSA to resolve the pay dispute through independent conciliation.
UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis, said:
“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.”
The union 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.
Notes to Editors
- UNISON represents more than 500 meat inspectors, official veterinarians and support staff employed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in England, Wales and Scotland
- Meat inspectors, official veterinarians and support staff cost each person in the country just 38 pence per year.
- Over the past two years, UNISON members stopped the following from entering the human food chain:
- 560,000 cases of milk spot caused by parasitic roundworm larvae in pigs;
- 3 million chickens contaminated with faeces;
- 2 million instances of tapeworm in red meat;
- 3 million animals with pneumonia;
- 450,000 animals with abscesses;
- 28,000 animals with tuberculosis;
- 5.5 million chickens with ascites – a build-up of fluid caused by heart or liver diseases;
- 1.8 million cases of peritonitis;
- 4 million cases of septicaemia.