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April 4, 2012

UK: Vion workers prepare to “intensify” industrial action

Dutch meat giant Vion said it continues to be "disappointed" at the prospect of further strikes at a site in the UK.

Dutch meat giant Vion said it continues to be “disappointed” at the prospect of further strikes at a site in the UK.

In a statement this morning (4 April), Unite said workers at the company’s Cambuslang site will “intensify” industrial action against their employer over a long-running low pay dispute tomorrow.

Workers and unions have been in discussions with Vion since October last year, following their rejection of a 2% pay increase and changes to holiday entitlement. Two days of strikes were planned last month following a 24-hour stoppage in February.

Unite convenor at Vion Scot Walker said: “We’ve repeatedly sought to engage with the company but its clear they have no interest in negotiating with us. This is a low-pay sector of the economy; the basic wage is less than GBP7 an hour but Vion is a global food processing giant with a turnover of nearly EUR9bn.”

The union said workers will now take part in a programme of “discontinuous” industrial action throughout April and May amounting to ten 24-hour strikes on “key production dates” with a ban on overtime and work to rule provisions also in place.

“In this harsh economic climate taking industrial action is the last thing we want to do but the workers can’t keep accepting real terms pay cuts with families and households to sustain – they’ve chosen to fight back,” Walker said.

In response to the action, a spokesperson for Vion told just-food: “The business continues to be disappointed with the response from the union, as the company has presented a very fair and reasonable proposal, especially given the current economic climate.”

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