19 March 1999
Meat inspectors settle for 4.54%

By FWi staff

BRITAINS meat inspectors have called off further strike action after voting to accept an improved pay offer of 4.54% from the Meat Hygiene Service.

A one-day strike by the inspectors last month closed abattoirs across the country, prompting fears of a backlog on farms of livestock awaiting slaughter.

The dispute flared up last year after a survey revealed that inspectors were subjected to horrifying levels of violence and intimidation.

The inspectors had claimed that an imposed pay rise of 3.65% failed to reflect poor working conditions, including bullying, violence and harassment from abattoir staff.

Inspectors today voted by 520 to 44 to accept the improved 4.54% offer, which raises their minimum salary to £12,348 and gives them an extra days holiday.

Further industrial action, including two more, longer strikes, has now been called off, said Ben Priestley of the public service union UNISON.

“For many members, the strike was an opportunity to show their frustration at a catalogue of grievances stretching back over a number of years,” he said.

The inspectors are expected to submit their pay claim for this year within the next few weeks.