Socialist Worker

Dungannon Meats

by Dessie Henderson, T&G union organiser Northern Ireland
Issue No. 2002

Angry workers at the Dungannon Meats plant in Northern Ireland condemned the company for proposing to make 46 of them redundant and replacing them with agency labour.

The workers, who include Portuguese, East Timorese, Polish and local staff, say that management told them the outsourcing of their jobs was a cost-cutting exercise.

The threatened redundancies come after 300 workers at the plant signed a petition supporting the right of the T&G union to represent them.

The company has moved forward the date of the planned redundancies from the end of June to the end of May.

Last year an employment tribunal found Portuguese workers, were unfairly treated by a local labour agency providing staff for Dungannon Meats.

We believe that these are not real redundancies.We cannot find the agency’s name on the Northern Ireland register, and are concerned that it will not guarantee the minimum rights of the migrant workers involved.

They are replacing the same number of staff with cheaper agency labour, which will inevitably mean worse terms and conditions of employment.

The workers have held a number of protests ouside the plant and last week protested agains the Co-op using Dungannon Meats as a supplier.

As a union we will not rest until we have reversed this decision and are allowed to properly represent our members in Dungannon Meats.

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Article information

Tue 23 May 2006, 17:51 BST
Issue No. 2002
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