Meat inspectors to strike again

03 February 1999

Meat inspectors to strike again

By FWi staff

MEAT inspectors are planning to strike again after disrupting meat production for 24 hours at abattoirs across the country.

Up to 1000 inspectors walked out yesterday (Tuesday) in a pay dispute
with the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS), causing problems at slaughterhouses
and processing plants.

The inspectors say an imposed pay increase of 3.65% is not enough to
compensate for the abuse they suffer with while doing their job.

A survey last year uncovered horrifying levels of violence and intimidation aimed at meat inspectors by abattoir bosses.

More than 50% of inspectors reported being attacked or verbally abused,
with 10% who returned questionnaires claiming they had been threatened
with a weapon.

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

A further two-day strike will be called unless MHS officials agree to
pay talks, said a spokesman for the public service union, Unison.

A three-day walkout will follow unless an imposed pay increase of less
than 4% is increased in line with the 4.7% received by other MAFF agency
employees, he added.

Two of the big four supermarket chains said yesterdays strike failed to disrupt supplies of meat to retailers.

But the big worry for farmers is that a backlog of livestock ready for
slaughter could soon build up on farms if the industrial action

  • Slaughterman fined for assaulting meat inspector – A MANCHESTER slaughterman was fined £500 and ordered to pay £50 compensation for assaulting a female Meat Hygiene Service vet. Magistrates were told that Mohamed Akram Sheikh prodded the vet in the shoulder and used abusive and threatening language.

  • The Independent 03/02/99 page 4

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