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Date: 1 April 2006

Meat inspectors' action brings last minute talks

The week long strike of meat inspectors across the UK appears to have brought a last minute offer of talks from English local government employers and the UK government.

UNISON, the union representing meat inspectors today welcomed the offer to talks from the English local government employers (the LGA). At the eleventh hour, talks with both the Deputy Prime Minister's Office and the LGA, have led to the calling of an urgent meeting of the LGA leaders next Wednesday (5 April).

Matt Smith, UNISON's Scottish Secretary said "In order to enable talks to take place in a positive climate, UNISON has decided to defer the strike of the meat inspectors scheduled for next week.

"The other action for the 25-7 April (26 April) remains on, and further action is planned in the event these discussions fail.

"We hope that sense will prevail and that the government and English employers will draw back from their discrimination against LGPS members."

The Scottish Council of UNISON, meeting in Glasgow today (Saturday), congratulated the members of the MHS in Scotland, for their solid commitment to the action and their resistance to the threats, intimidation and smears, voiced by the MHS and the meat industry.

Mike Kirby, UNISON's Scottish Convenor said "It is no accident that this move to talks comes on the eve of a key strike of key staff. MHS members deserve our thanks and congratulations for levering this step forward. Let us hope that government and employers realize that they have allowed then a breathing space. Use it well."


For Further Information Please Contact: Mike Kirby (Scottish Convenor) 07803952261 (m) Matt Smith (Scottish Secretary) 07771 548 997 Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)




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