Moy Park workers need assurance over future as company set for resale by JBS

SMcKPolitical leaders have a responsibility to ensure business is not subject to corporate asset-stripping by venture capitalists

Any new owners must respect rights of the three thousand Unite members among workforce in Northern Ireland

June 20th: Unite Regional Officer, Sean McKeever called for action by political leaders to ensure assurances as to the long-term future of Moy Park following news that the company would be sold by world’s largest meatpacker, JBS.

“Moy Park employs twelve thousand workers across the UK, with almost half based at its operations in Northern Ireland; making it the most regionally significant employer here.

“The announced sale of the company by the world’s largest meatpacking company, JBS, casts a shadow over its future at a time when it already faces extensive uncertainties as a result of Brexit.

“We are seeking assurances that any new owner will demonstrate their long-term commitment to our three thousand members in the company. We want to see a meaningful investment plan and confirmation that they will continue to engage with Unite as the representative body for more than half the workforce.

“We would be very concerned that this announced sale, coming within a year of its previous acquisition by JBS, may open the door to venture capitalists. They would have no interest in the workforce but would buy the company for its order book, intent on asset-stripping the business for short-term profit.

“Unite has repeatedly argued for the passing of a ‘Viking clause’ by the Northern Ireland Assembly which would prevent the plunder and pillage of our successful companies by giving veto power to the workforce over any corporate buy-out offer that failed to provide basic reassurances. Such legislation would also guarantee workers improved severance payments discouraging vulture capitalists from viewing Northern Ireland workers as an easy target for redundancies.

“In the absence of such legislative protections, it is vital that our political representatives intervene to ensure that the future of the workforce and this company is secured into the long-term”, Mr McKeever finished.

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