Striking a Balance in Industrial Relations
1. “Constructive Negotiations” on Monday, 01 December 2008, between the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) and UNISON saw withdrawal of the Union’s threat to call a strike next week. An agreement has been signed by the MHS and the meat inspectors’ union committing the parties to engage “in meaningful and serious discussions to reach a timely negotiating settlement on pay and revised terms and conditions of service for year two of the two-year pay deal”.
2. Expressing his pleasure at this result Steve McGrath, MHS Chief Executive, described his pleasure at the success of the negotiations. “I have always been confident that we could reach an agreement and I look forward to continuing our constructive dialog in the new year”.“In recognition of” the exceptional economic pressures facing MHS staff and as a gesture of goodwill” the MHS has agreed to implement year one of the two-year pay deal, as of January 2009.
3. The characteristics of the turkey (and geese) industries and the numbers of small-scale on-farm enterprises, particularly among those claiming to be “free range” or “organic” and using casual labour, puts strain on the assurances of the MHS and its deputed inspectors that the “gesture of goodwill” will bring any worthwhile relief to the birds, who lack effective votes for Christmas or any other season. Many veggies will face difficult decisions in enjoying the spirit of goodwill while avoiding complicity in an avoidable massacre.
4. Veggies still have time to brave the corporate challenge with preparations for their choices from our Portfolio of eating plans, generating the party spirit at their table. Our industrious vote-catching action includes hints for resolute entry into genuinely “meaningful and serious” adjustments post-prandial belts in an “agreeable and constructive dialog” with all living things and a working approach to well-tempered harmony. UNISON and the Food Standard Agency should be busying themselves with searches for decent work for redundant meat inspectors.