Moy Park factory workers pledge strike in Randalstown for equal pay

A strike is scheduled for Monday June 6 at a feed mill owned by poultry giant Moy Park after a dispute over wages.

the first 20 members of the Unite union at the Randalstown plant – around half of its workforce – are due to start the strike at 7am.

Unite said nearly 80% of its members at the factory, which produces chicken feed for farms supplying Moy Park, voted in favor of the action.

The union said drivers, plant operators and engineers would all participate, saying Moy Park wanted to link a pay parity deal with other sites to the scrapping of broader terms and conditions.

Unite said: ‘Workers at the Moneynick Road site are currently paid less per hour than workers doing similar work at other Moy Park sites, but the employer says any move to end the unfavorable pay rates must be linked to the loss of workers’ holidays and special days. bonuses – which are also paid on other sites.

Moy Park said: “Following successful pay negotiations, which were voted on and accepted by Unite members, we are disappointed to be advised of strike action by Unite the Union.

“The new wage premium, representing an 8.6% increase on all base rates and shift allowances, is payable from April 1, 2022. The proposed strike by up to 19 Unite members at the factory does not will not disrupt our operations or our levels of customer service. .”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Moy Park wants to give with one hand but take back more with the other – and that’s just not acceptable to Unite.

“This company can afford to pay fairly. Our members are saying loud and clear that they will not tolerate any attack on the terms and conditions and that those working in the mill should be paid the same as their colleagues working elsewhere in the business.

“Unite members have the full support of their union to strike for equal pay. »

Regional officer Sean McKeever claimed the strike would “stop” production at the site.

He said: ‘Even if Moy Park is able to source alternatively there will undoubtedly be an impact on agriculture in Northern Ireland…the management knows what is needed to avoid this strike – they must return to the table with an unconditional offer to ensure equal pay for these workers.

Moy Park Group company, Moy Park Holdings (Europe) Ltd, made an operating profit of £79.4 million in 2020.

Company accounts indicated that the company had a total workforce of 10,209 in that year at 12 sites in Northern Ireland, England, the Netherlands and France. It has about 6,300 employees here.