ABP workers to strike over childcare worries

By Dan Colombini contact

- Last updated on GMT

The strike action follows a comprehensive 93.1% vote of workers for action in an independently conducted industrial ballot
The strike action follows a comprehensive 93.1% vote of workers for action in an independently conducted industrial ballot

Related tags: Finance, Meat & Seafood

Unite the Union has confirmed that strike action will begin next month at the ABP Food Group factory in Lurgan, Northern Ireland.

The first 24-hour strike will begin at midnight on 4 November following concerns over the impact that proposed altered work times would have on childcare responsibilities.

The strike action follows a comprehensive 93.1% vote of workers for action in an independently conducted industrial ballot.

2% pay increase

Members accused the firm of failing to recognise the responsibilities of workers that have been asked to work altered start times, alongside a 2% pay increase that has been described by Unite as “an insult​”.

Management in ABP meats in Lurgan have adopted an extremely antagonistic and aggressive approach to their workforce​,” said Unite regional officer Brian Hewitt.

Workers have been left with no alternative but to take strike action to defend themselves and their families.

Start times

“Bosses have attempted to push a change to the start times on the workforce and have offered them a measly 2% pay increase in return.

The pay increase itself is an insult to the workers. Not only is it significantly below the current rate of inflation – at a time when the ABP meat group are reported in the press to have declared €170 million in profits for 2018 – but it is tied to plans to early start times for shifts. 

“Parents who work shifts – some of whom earn little more than the bare legal minimum – are already struggling to secure appropriate care cover for their children in the hours before school. Management plans will only further increase the hardship on working parents through the difficulties and costs involved securing childcare cover.”

An ABP spokesman told Food Manufacture​ that the firm had been in negotiations with colleague representatives and “remains open to and available for further engagement through the appropriate industrial relations channels​”.

 

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