Chief Executive Janet McCollum refuses to meet with union to address pay concerns and her support for Pilgrim’s Pride takeover
Moy Park £41 million profit must be used to end scourge of poverty pay and deliver an inflation-busting pay increase for all workers
Unite Regional Officer for Moy Park, Sean McKeever, reiterated his union’s demand for a meeting with Chief Executive Janet McCollum over concerns that poverty pay is extending through the workforce with the recruitment of hundreds more agency workers on the minimum wage:
“Moy Park is the largest employer in Northern Ireland and Unite represents the majority of their workers. We have now repeatedly sought meetings with the Chief Executive Janet McCollum over our concerns.
“When the Pilgrim’s Pride buy-out was announced, Janet McCollum publicly welcomed it despite the fact that this corporation – renowned as the most exploitative employer in the US meatpacking industry – openly boasted that they would seek to deliver $50 million in ‘efficiencies’ from the Moy Park group. Our members know what capitalists mean when they say efficiencies, that’s management-speak for ‘speed-up’, degraded terms and conditions, lower pay and layoffs.
“Unite sought an urgent meeting with Janet McCollum to justify her positive assessment of the buy-out and to identify where these ‘efficiencies’ were to be generated but we were refused a meeting.
“Since then Moy Park announced profits of £41 million on sales of £1.4 billion in 2016 and we have set out the case that the surplus generated through the pain, sweat and blood of our members in this most demanding industry be shared with them. That means an immediate end to minimum-wage agency working and an across-the-board inflation-busting pay increase for all. Again the Chief Executive has refused to meet with us to discuss these legitimate demands.
“While Janet McCollum hides from directly engaging with the workers’ representatives, Moy Park continues to advertise for hundreds more minimum-wage agency jobs. They seek to deliver even greater profits for their shareholders through expanding the use of, and ratcheting up, poverty pay. That is a deeply immoral approach to business and it is not one that our union will countenance. Moy Park’s workers are human beings not cattle – they have the right to a decent standard of living, to aspire to having a family or a home of their own, to a better work-life balance – poverty pay and agency jobs offer them no hope of these things and no security for the future. Moy Park is being put on notice that Unite will not allow our members to be exploited – Janet McCollum needs to meet with us to discuss our concerns”, Mr McKeever finished.