Welsh Country Foods meat plant workers in payout row
Workers at the closure-threatened Welsh Country Food plant on Anglesey are set to strike over redundancy payments.
The Unite union says 300 workers at the Vion-owned site are unhappy at redundancy terms, compared to those offered at a sister site in Scotland.
Vion said is was disappointed at the strike at a "key stage" of lamb sales.
Earlier this month, Birmingham-based 2 Sisters Food Group purchased a number of Vion sites across the UK, including one at Llangefni.
In Wales, the sale safeguarded about 300 jobs in Llangefni, 1,300 in Sandycroft, Flintshire, and 1,300 in Merthyr.
End Quote Jamie Pritchard Unite senior shop steward
We feel we are being cheated terribly here... the company is set to lose a lot more than they would if they paid us”
But it did not include Welsh Country Foods at Gaerwen on Anglesey which is still up for sale, and will close on 12 April unless a buyer is found.
"We gave Vion notice yesterday that we will be going on strike for 48 hours from midnight on 27 March," said Jamie Pritchard, the senior shop steward at Gaerwen.
"We want the workers here to get the enhanced redundancy package that workers at another Vion site in Scotland received.
"The company says the redundancy policy here is different, but I've checked with the union representative in Scotland and the terms are the same and they were given an additional £500 on top of the basic redundancy package there."
Mr Pritchard said this means the company has set a precedent.
"We feel we are being cheated terribly here, and even though our members will lose money by going on strike, the company is set to lose a lot more than they would if they paid us."
End Quote Welsh Country Foods
The business is currently preparing plans to manage supply to customers for this period”
Mr Pritchard added the union was also fighting for the rights of workers who do not qualify for redundancy payment because they have not worked at the plant for the statutory period of two years.
"We want them to get the £500 too because we feel we have been let down by the company," he added.
A spokesman for the company said "Vion is disappointed with the decision to instigate industrial action at a key sales period for Welsh lamb".
"The business is currently preparing plans to manage supply to customers for this period."
It added that the company continued in discussions with "a number of parties that have expressed an interest in the Welsh Country Foods operation".