Food Standards Agency staff strike ballot could lead to Christmas meat shortages

If employees vote to walk out it could bring the meat industry to a halt, Unison said.

18 October 2022

A strike by staff at the Food Standards Agency could lead to Christmas meat shortages, their union has said.

The staff, represented by Unison, are being balloted for strike action over a pay dispute.

Hundreds of inspectors, vets and office-based staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are involved, and could bring the industry to a halt if they vote to walk out.

Earlier this year they voted to reject a pay offer of between 2% and 5%. The union is demanding a rise of 10%.

The staff last went out on strike in 2014.

The ballot closes on October 31.

In a statement, Unison said the strikes could take place in the run-up to and over Christmas.

“FSA staff play a vital role in keeping contaminated meat off people’s plates,” Unison head of local government Mike Short said.

“But many have to work in difficult and unpleasant conditions inspecting carcasses for signs of disease.

“These employees protect consumers, ensure good animal welfare, and must be rewarded accordingly.

“The FSA needs to come up with a significantly higher offer to avoid any disruption.”

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