Meat inspectors, official veterinarians and support staff at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) are today on strike over pay, writes Tim Lezard. The UNISON members are angry that despite the cost of living rising by 1%, they are to receive only a 0.75% pa …

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Meat inspectors, official veterinarians and support staff at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) are today on strike over pay, writes Tim Lezard.

The UNISON members are angry that despite the cost of living rising by 1%, they are to receive only a 0.75% pay rise.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: ”We have worked hard and done everything possible to avoid this dispute, right up to the eleventh hour. But we’ve been left with no choice because the FSA has imposed a settlement and refused to budge.

“Our members are not asking for a massive pay increase, just for the cost of living rise they are entitled to. This money should be distributed fairly and transparently to the entire workforce but the FSA has consistently refused to do this.

“This is not an attack on the meat industry or slaughterhouses. This is an issue with the FSA which is why we’ve chosen to take two four-hour strikes at the beginning of the day in order not to undermine the industry. The strike is purely about stopping the FSA pick-pocketing our members, who work in some of the most dirty, difficult and stressful conditions to keep the public safe from contaminated meat.”

They are staging two four-hour walkouts, from 6:30am – 10:30am today and tomorrow


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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