November 25, 2008

UK strike may affect Christmas meat supply

UK meat inspectors have voted in favour of strike action, a move that could cause meat supply to suffer in the run-up to Christmas.


Meat inspectors are protesting against changes to their working conditions and are calling for pay hikes, according to a spokesperson from Unison, the union representing about 1,000 meat hygiene inspectors throughout the UK.


The inspectors examine meat carcasses to verify they are fit for human consumption, and Unison's members cover many of UK slaughterhouses, said the spokesperson.


The spokesperson warned that a strike will disrupt the production line, and meat will become scarce in supermarkets and butcher shops.


That may also indicate that meat prices are likely to increase as well.


A date for the strike is yet to be set, but the union did not rule out the possibility that it could be staged in the crucial pre-Christmas trading period.


Unison is conducting preliminary talks with the Meat Hygiene Service, and the strike could be averted if grievances are addressed, said the spokesperson.

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