Industrial action planned at Northern Ireland feed mill

Members of a trade union at a Moy Park feed mill in Northern Ireland have voted to strike beginning next week.

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In a dispute over pay and conditions, some workers at a feed mill in Northern Ireland are threatening to strike next week.

Members of one trade union at a Moy Park feed mill have voted overwhelmingly in favor of strike action to begin after the weekend.

Irish News reports a company spokesperson saying that pay negotiations have already been completed and accepted by the trade union, Unite.

For the feed mill at Randalstown in County Antrim, the new pay award agreed amounted to a rise of 8.6%, they said. This rate applied to all basic and shift rates, and it has been payable since the start of April.

Expressing disappointment at the proposed strike action, the Moy Park spokesperson said that action from the mill’s 19 Unite members will not affect the firm’s operations or customer service.

The strike is due to start at 7 a.m. on Monday, June 6, according to Belfast Telegraph. Taking action are approximately half of the workers at the feed mill in Moneynick Road.

Union takes action over pay parity

Currently, the workforce at the Randalstown feed mill are paid lower hourly rates than others doing similar work elsewhere in Moy Park’s Northern Ireland facilities, according to the trade union, Unite.

It says the company agreed to end these unfair pay rates. However, this leveling up required workers to accept the loss of some holiday and special day premiums.

According to the union, the Moy Park group made an operating profit of GBP86 million (US$107 million) last year. It alleges the company is attacking workers’ wages, and putting animal welfare at risk.

Unite’s general secretary has supported the proposed action by Randalstown workers to achieve pay parity.

The local regional officer has called on the company to return to the negotiating table over pay and conditions for this group of workers.

More on Moy Park

Annual slaughtering of 312 million birds put Moy Park among the top 10 poultry companies in Europe, according to’s Top Poultry Companies survey.

The same source reports that Moy Park is Northern Ireland’s largest private company. It produces fresh and value-added poultry, ready-to-eat meals, breaded and frozen foods, beef and pork products, vegetarian foods, and desserts. Moy Park supplies restaurant chains and retailers in the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the rest of Europe. It has a 30% share of the U.K. poultry market.

In 2017, Moy Park was sold by JBS to another of its subsidiaries — Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. — as part of a debt restructuring strategy.

In January, the company announced it was suspending live poultry processing at one of its facilities. A temporary measure at Ballymena, this aimed to increase output of processed products in line with growing consumer demand and labor shortages. No changes in jobs were expected.

Last year, Moy Park’s feed business received globally recognized certification for soybean traceability. This recognized the company’s Northern Ireland supply chain – from source to customer.

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