Unite members at the Moy Park site on the Moneynick Road, Randalstown have established pickets at the feed mill in a strike to win pay parity with other Northern Ireland sites.
Strike action at the mill, which began at 7am this morning, has shut down production at the mill which produces chicken feed for thousands of farms supplying Moy Park across Northern Ireland. Unite is warning that the company’s greed is attacking members’ wages and putting animal welfare at risk.
The industrial action proceeds after drivers, mill operators and engineers voted by 78 percent to take strike action having rejected management attempts to tie a pay parity deal to removal of wider terms and conditions.
Workers at the site are paid less per hour than Moy Park workers doing similar work elsewhere in Northern Ireland but the employer says that any movement to end unfavourable pay rates must be tied to workers’ losing holiday and day premiums.
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.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham offered her full support to the striking workers.
“Our members overwhelmingly reject Moy Park’s attempts to give with one hand but grab back more with the other,” she said. “This strike will continue until Moy Park pays the rate for the job. This company can well afford to do so – it is boardroom greed that prevents them from acting with decency.
“Unite’s members have the full backing of their union in their strike.”
Regional officer Sean McKeever added, “Moy Park needs to deliver pay equality with other sites. This strike has shut down production and even if Moy Park can source alternative supplies, there will undoubtedly be an impact for farm suppliers in Northern Ireland. The company’s greed is not just harming our members but harming animal welfare too.
“Management know what is needed to end this strike – they need to return to the table with a no-strings offer to guarantee pay parity for these workers.”
By Donal O’Cofaigh