UNISON has called off its planned strike by meat hygiene inspectors, following an agreement today (25 November) on pay, and to allow further talks on changes to work patterns.

Up to 1000 meat inspectors across the UK could have been involved in the three-day walk-out next week after talks held yesterday (24 November) between Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) bosses and trade union UNISON failed.

But, the last minute deal will be welcome news to those who feared any disruption during the busy run-up to Christmas could hit the whole meat sector.

“Taking strike action is always a last resort and today’s agreement will give breathing space for further talks and, at the same time, put money into the pockets of our members,” Simon Watson, UNISON national officer for meat inspectors, said..

“Meat hygiene inspectors will get a long overdue pay rise of 2.99% in the new year, backdated to August 2007 – in time to help with the post-Christmas bills.
 
“We still have some tough talking to do over the ‘work anytime’ proposals and members have a right to expect movement on their 2008 pay deal. However, today’s agreement with the Meat Hygiene Service signals a willingness to reach a negotiated.”