Dispute at Goodman-owned plant driven by low pay and anti-family hours
Stoppage follows overwhelming vote in favour of action
November 3rd: The first in a series of planned stoppages at the Anglo Beef Processing plant in Lurgan will start at 00.01 hours tomorrow (Monday 4th November), with pickets being placed at the gates from 6 am. The stoppage will last for 24 hours ending at midnight. An overwhelming 93.1 per cent of workers voted to take strike action in a dispute centred on the company’s decision to offer a below-inflation pay increase while also seeking to unilaterally impose earlier shift start times which will make childcare arrangements even more difficult for the low-paid workforce.
ABP is owned by beef baron Larry Goodman, whose group of companies is reported to have availed of a complex corporate structure centred on tax havens to ensure that profits of €170 million have gone largely untaxed.
Commenting ahead of tomorrow’s Lurgan action, Unite Regional Officer Brian Hewitt said:
“While their billionaire boss avoids tax, low-paid ABP workers in Lurgan cannot avoid their family responsibilities – and the new shift times will make it almost impossible for them to make childcare arrangements. The offer of a derisory pay increase while also seeking to impose anti-family shift starts is an insult to a committed workforce which has built the success of ABP. Management’s aggressive approach has left the workers with no option but to take strike action.
“If they want to ensure that production lines run smoothly in the run-up to Christmas, management needs to come to the table with realistic pay increases which reflect our members’ living costs, and they need to engage in meaningful discussions with the workers on shift times. ABP should be in no doubt that our members are determined to defend their and their families’ living standards”, Mr Hewitt said.