Unite has slammed poultry processing company 2 Sisters for refusing to give staff time off or extra pay for the Queen’s funeral bank holiday on Monday (September 19).
In an email to Unite, 2 Sisters stated, “Our operations will remain open as usual and no additional annual leave has been allocated.”
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Many companies cannot switch off their operations during bank holidays. But decent employers compensate their staff for working them. 2 Sisters used to be a profitable company, but its atrocious management has turned it into a loss making one.
“The company, where pay and conditions are terrible, says it is working to attract and retain staff to reverse losses. If that’s the case, it needs to offer better pay and better contracts. A bank holiday premium on Monday would be a start.”
2 Sisters latest financial returns, which show the company is running at a loss, states that ‘initiatives to improve the attraction and retention of labour are ongoing’.
The company’s accounts also state: “Significant labour shortages caused by Brexit and Covid-19… present an ongoing structural challenge for all manufacturing businesses in the UK and has hit the UK poultry business particularly hard.”
Unite national officer Bev Clarkson added, “2 Sisters is intent on blaming everything but itself for the labour shortages it is experiencing. But its refusal to provide staff time off lieu or bonus payments during this bank holiday exemplify exactly where the company is going wrong. 2 Sisters is known for low pay, thankless T&Cs and unpleasant working conditions, their approach to the coming bank holiday does nothing to change that.”
By Barckley Sumner