Meat dispute goes to arbitration

10 February 1999

Meat dispute goes to arbitration

By FWi staff

LEADERS of striking meat hygiene inspectors and officials from the Meat Hygiene Service meet today (Wednesday) for talks.

The independent arbitration service ACAS will encourage the inspectors to resolve their pay dispute with the MHS.

About 1000 inspectors who held a one-day strike last week had threatened further industrial action – including a two-day stoppage – unless the MHS agreed to talks.

The pay dispute escalated after a survey uncovered horrifying levels of violence by abattoir bosses, who accused inspectors of unnecessarily stopping production lines.

The inspectors are employed to ensure anti-BSE measures and other health practices are properly implemented and all meat is fit for human consumption.

The government agreed to introduce protection measures to prevent bullying and assault, but the inspectors say their latest pay offer is derisory.

They want an imposed pay rise of 3.65% increased to the 4.7% received by employees of other executive agencies administered by the Ministry of Agriculture.

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