Date: 30 Mar 2006
Prescott provocation ensures meat inspector strike
In response to the statement by First Minister Jack McConnell,
UNISON today pointed out that the strike of Meat Inspectors would
go ahead as the Westminster government had escalated the action
by taking the next step to abolish the Rule of 85.
Joe di Paola, Scottish Organiser (Bargaining) said, "The strike
of the UK meat inspectors goes ahead entirely due to the provocative
action of Mr McConnell's Westminster colleague the Deputy Prime
Minister, who laid an order in Parliament today to cut pension rights
for LGPS members outwith Scottish schemes - including striking Scottish
Meat Inspectors. "The trade unions put proposals to him both yesterday
and today that would have formed the basis of a solution, these
have clearly been rejected by the DPM.
"Meat Inspectors work for a UK Central Agency, and are very clear
examples of the unfairness of the current proposals which the First
Minister has repeated today. We have MIs on Civil service schemes
who have their retirement at 60 protected, working in the same job
as members of the LGPS who are having their early retirement withdrawn."
"I'm afraid this is not within the gift of UNISON, the First Minister
or Tom McCabe to deliver. Meat Inspectors are members of a Superannuation
scheme regulated by Westminster. UNISON members make up 98% of the
workforce and the strike will be solid.
"We have agreed a process whereby the Hall's of Broxburn plant
- which has been widely reported as under threat - can continue
to operate during the strike at a reduced capacity by concentrating
exempted MIs from other plants. This should relieve any closure
"Mr McConnell has to realise that the solution to this dispute
lies in the hands of him and his colleague. To offer talks whilst
maintaining and defending the plan to scrap the rule of 85 is not
a 'reasonable proposal'.
"We welcome talks, but until there is something concrete on the
table, the action will continue."
For Further Information Please Contact: Joe Di Paola (Scottish
organiser - Bargaining) 0845 355 0845(w) 07958 121 861(m) Chris
Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)