By FWi staff
MEAT Hygiene Service officials entered talks with the trade union Unison today (Thursday) in a bid to avert further strike action by meat inspectors who brought abattoirs to a standstill earlier this week.
The meat inspectors are threatening to follow their 24-hour strike last Tuesday with a two-day stoppage later this month unless the MHS increases its imposed pay offer of 3.65%.
But with negotiations now underway, the necessary seven-day notice of further action has yet to be announced, and a further walkout next week looks unlikely.
Meanwhile the farming industry is still measuring the effects of this weeks industrial action which resulted in a 13% drop in entries at some livestock markets on Monday.
The marketing co-operative Meadow Valley Livestock reports that the current weeks action did not result in any abattoir cancellations of its livestock deliveries.
“It has had no impact on prices, either,” claimed Clive Brown.
Debbie Spencer of the Meat and Livestock Commission said: “The impact so far has been patchy and depends on location and whether or not a plant was involved.”
The Federation of Fresh Meat Wholesalers reports that fewer than a quarter of the 440 plants or so failed to operate.
Abattoirs failing to kill on Tuesday were mainly in the north and of England and Scotland and in Wales.
Figures for central, south-east and south west England suggest nearer two-thirds of all plants were operational.
Affected abattoirs cut meat from carcasses in cold stores, and continuity of supply was thus maintained from the majority of plants.