Upcoming ABN feed mill strike action risks market disruption

Mill workers employed by animal feed manufacturer ABN, part of AB Agri, have voted to take strike action in April over pay, meaning potential market disruption.

Following a month-long consultation, trade union Unite confirmed on Friday (24 March) that strike action will take place from 1 April to 7 April.

See also: Report seeks fairness for farmers in food supply chain

Work to rule will then be in effect from 8 April to 14 April, before an all-out, indefinite strike begins on 15 April.

Mills in Suffolk, Norfork, Oxfordshire, Fife, Devon, Lincolnshire and East and North Yorkshire are likely to be affected.

The decision follows the workers’ outright rejection of a 4.5% pay offer. “With the real rate of inflation running at 13.4%, this is a significant real-terms pay cut,” said a spokesman. 

AB Agri made an operating profit of £388,000 for the year ending 31 August 2022 and is owned by Associated British Foods (ABF), which has about 132,000 employees worldwide.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “AB Agri and ABF can well afford to pay these workers a fair pay rise.

“Instead, they have forced through a substantial real-terms pay cut. Unite never accepts attacks on our members’ jobs, pay or conditions.”

She predicted “significant disruption” to the operations of AB Agri mills, which produce a huge proportion of the UK’s pig and poultry feed.

ABN has been approached for a comment.

See more