Unite Meatworkers To Take Strike Action At Vion Foods

17 Feb

Unite members at food giant Vion in Cambuslang will walk out on February 20th, the first in a series of planned actions in a dispute over terms and conditions.

The workforce voted massively in favour of industrial action in an official ballot where 92% of members backed strike action on a 72% turnout.  The dispute has escalated with the company since October 2011 following an offer of a 2% pay increase plus changes to holiday entitlement.  At the same time UK media outlets reported that VION’s UK business operations  had tripled its profits from 2010.

A Unite spokesman said “You can’t keep asking workers year on year to accept attacks on their terms and conditions – they are going to fight back and rightly so.

We are talking about the 4th largest meat processor in the world here.  The average wage at Cambuslang is approximately £7 per hour, it’s not intensive wages but it is intensive labour and the workers deserve to be fairly rewarded.

We had hoped the company would see sense and come up with a improved offer but they have dug their heels in.  The door remains open for VION management but if they don’t grasp this opportunity then there will be an escalation of the dispute.”

The Cambuslang site is one of approximately forty UK sites employing 12,500 workers owned by Vion NV, the Netherlands-based multinational who are the largest meat processing company in Europe and the 4th largest in the world as measured by 2010 sales.  In its 2010 accounts the company reported that it employed almost 27,000 workers worldwide and had an €8.9 billion turnover.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:  For further information please contact Unite Convenor at Vion Scot Walker on 07985460943 or Peter Welsh in the Unite Scotland Campaigns & Communications Unit on 07810157931.

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