Workers at ABP Meats, Lurgan set to bring production lines to a standstill

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Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

ABP meats in Lurgan is set to see its production lines brought to a standstill on Monday as workers stage a twenty-four-hour strike 

Unite Trade Union has said that there is overwhelming support for industrial action driven by workers’ concerns over the impact on childcare responsibilities

Unite Regional Officer Brian Hewitt claimed management in ABP meats in Lurgan have adopted what he described as an "extremely antagonistic and aggressive" approach to their workforce.

"Workers have been left with no alternative but to take strike action to defend themselves and their families," he said.

The first twenty-four-hour strike action will commence from midnight on Monday [November 4th] with pickets formed from six am at the gates to the company’s Lurgan plant.

The strike action follows an overwhelming 93.1pc vote of workers for action in an independently conducted industrial ballot.

Hewitt claimed ABP managers attempted to push a change to the start times on the workforce and have offered workers just 2pc pay increase in return.

"The pay increase itself is an insult to the workers.

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"Not only is it significantly below the current rate of inflation – at a time when the ABP meat group are reported in the press to have declared €170 million in profits for 2018 – but it is tied to plans to early start times for shifts.

“Parents who work shifts – some of whom earn little more than the bare, legal minimum – are already struggling to secure appropriate care cover for their children in the hours before school. Management plans will only further increase the hardship on working parents through the difficulties and costs involved in securing childcare cover.

“Far from recognising the difficulties caused by their plans for those with care responsibilities, ABP meats have adopted an extremely high-handed approach to their employees and to our union," he said.

Unite is calling on ABP to step back and engage with the union in negotiations on terms agreeable to the workforce.

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