Strike Action Planned At Bury St Edmunds Firm

1 October 2018, 15:24 | Updated: 1 October 2018, 15:29

Pigs eating

Strike action's being planned by workers at an animal feed firm in Bury St Edmunds.

They're angry at having to work extra Saturdays every month, with no pay rise.

Unite's called AB Agriculture's new rotas at the Eastern Way site, an 'undiluted attack on the work/life balance' of its members.

Unite regional officer Steve Harley said: "The company's unilateral imposition is an attack on our members' work/life balance and also an erosion of continuous rest breaks, which are essential to the safety of all road users.
"What is happening at Bury St Edmunds is an unappetising race to the bottom. Working days can already exceed 12 hours a day. Therefore, weekends are essential to those who want a proper work/life balance and time to be with their families.
"This firm is making healthy profits but has adamantly refused to talk to Unite in a constructive fashion to resolve this issue.
"These new draconian Saturday rotas are already operating, hence the very real possibility of strikes in the run-up to Christmas, so we are calling, once more, for meaningful negotiations.
"Should the industrial action go ahead, we predict that it will directly impact on the availability of poultry and pig feed to business customers, particularly in Norfolk and Suffolk."

An ABN Spokesperson said "ABN has been discussing a change to the shift pattern, allowable under the existing Workplace Agreement, for our drivers at our Bury St Edmunds Feed mill for more than 12 months.

"This change is required to enable us to effectively meet the needs of our customers.

"Throughout the consultation we have been open and fair to our employees and have worked hard to reach a resolution.

"Unfortunately, and despite our best efforts, we have not been able to reach an agreement and we are aware of the decision taken by some of our drivers to strike.

"We would like to reassure our customers that, should industrial action be taken, we have contingency plans to ensure customer service and delivery standards are fully maintained, and feed safety remains our priority."