An industrial dispute between workers’ union Unite and 2 Sisters Food Group over changes to working patterns has flared up again, with the processor threatening redundancies and site closures.

Employees at three of four Midlands poultry processing sites have rejected proposals to change shift patterns allowing week-round production. It is understood that workers were balloted following a three-month trial of the altered working patterns.

A leaked internal document from 2 Sisters threatened site closure if the proposed changes did not happen, reported the Birmingham Post. “In order for our business to remain sustainable and profitable, we have identified and discussed a proposal with your union (Unite),” it said.

“As it stands, should we fail to reach agreement on the proposal, the company will have to consider the closure of two of the four cutting sites.”

Earlier this year HR1 forms, statutory notification of potential redundancies, were issued for the four sites. A spokesperson for Unite said this was a threat to workers, and the union took it “extremely seriously”.

A spokesperson for 2 Sisters said that, while discussions were ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment.

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