Union boss: Increase pay to avoid crisis in staffing

A trade union boss has said Brexit has “completely changed the labour market in Northern Ireland” as it urged Moy Park to consider improved pay and conditions to solve the Ballymena worker shortage behind the decision to suspend live chicken processing.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 7:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 8:16 am

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, (pictured) made the comment as she pointed to the millions in profit on the company’s account books.

“This is a hugely successful company but instead of amassing more and more profits for shareholders, management need to increase pay and deliver real improvements to terms and conditions to avoid a damaging staffing crisis which will hugely impair their productive capacity,” she said.

Moy Park management need to recognise that Brexit has completely changed the labour market in Northern Ireland. They cannot continue to offer low pay and poor working conditions and rely on overseas recruitment to fill the gaps resulting from high staff turnover.”

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Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary

While Unite represent a large number of Moy Park workers across Northern Ireland, the company negotiate at its Ballymena site primarily with the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU).

BFAWU regional officer Laura Graham said the announcement “follows the struggle for the industry as a whole to recruit and retain workers. While we are confident that the impact to the site will be minimal, we will continue to monitor the process”.

She added: “We feel that the issue of labour shortages for this industry are a direct result of employers who are failing to increase wages.”