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Stackyard News Apr 06

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    Relief As Meat Strike Is Called Off

NFU Scotland has expressed its relief that Unison has called off a planned five-day strike by up to 1000 meat inspectors across the UK. NFUS believed the strike could cause serious damage to the meat industry, farmers and consumers.

NFUS has also thanked Scottish Ministers for reflecting industry concerns in their approaches to the Unions.

At the same time, NFUS has highlighted that contingency planning is essential if the red meat industry is to avoid serious disruption in future.

NFUS President John Kinnaird said:

"I am pleased Unison has called off the planned Meat Hygiene Service strike after a number of days of frantic discussions. I believe they have made absolutely the right move.

"As I said last week as this was unfolding, I have no problem with Unison fighting its members' corner, but I had real concerns that they were going to damage businesses, in some cases permanently, that had no involvement in the dispute nor any ability to influence Unison's case.

"I had a number of conversations with Rural Development Minister Ross Finnie last week and his representation of our concerns to Unison was extremely important. Likewise, the statements from the First Minister were also very helpful.

"There is one lesson from this that must be learnt. We can't afford for the Scottish red meat industry to be shutdown because there is a temporary absence of official inspectors. We need a contingency plan in place to ensure we don't see job losses in the processing sector, animal welfare problems on farm and empty supermarket shelves because a handful of inspectors go on strike. There are suitably qualified individuals like vets that can do the same job in exceptional circumstances and that option must be explored for the future."

link Farming Union Dismayed At Unison Meat Strike
link New MHS Strike Could Cause Massive Disruption
link NFUS Warns Of Possible Meat Hygiene Service Strike

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NFU Scotland

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