78% of Moy Park feed mill employees vote to strike: Unite

78% of Moy Park feed mill employees vote to strike: Unite
Unite members working as drivers, mill operators and engineers at Moy Park’s Moneynick Road feed mill have rejected management’s attempts to tie a pay parity deal to removal of wider terms and conditions, the union has claimed.

Unite says that workers at the Moneynick Road site are currently paid less per hour than workers doing similar work at other Moy Park sites but that the employer says that any movement to end unfavourable pay rates must be tied to workers’ losing holiday and special day premiums – which are also paid at other sites.

The union says that strike action at the mill is set to start from 7am on Monday June 6.

The approximate workforce of 40 who work at the mill produce chicken feed for thousands of farms supplying Moy Park across Northern Ireland. Unite says the company’s “greed” is attacking members’ wages and putting animal welfare at risk.

The union says Moy Park group made an operating profit of £86 million last year with the total package paid to its highest paid director worth £924,000.

Regional Unite officer Sean McKeever said: “Moy Park needs to recognise the determination of this workforce at Moneynick to end pay inequality with other sites. In the absence of movement, this strike is going ahead on Monday from 7am and will shut down production at this critical site.

“Even if Moy Park can source alternative supplies, there will undoubtedly be an impact for farming in Northern Ireland. The company’s greed is not just harming our members but harming animal welfare too.

“Management know what is needed to avert this strike – they need to return to the table with a no-strings offer to guarantee pay parity for these workers.”

A spokesperson at Moy Park said: “Following the successful completion of pay negotiations, which were balloted on and accepted by Unite members, we are disappointed to be notified of strike action by Unite the Union.

“The new pay award, representing an increase of 8.6% on all basic rates and shift allowances, has been paid from 1st April 2022.

“The proposed strike by up to 19 Unite members at the Mill will not disrupt our operations or customer service levels.”