Welsh Country Foods meat plant workers in payout row

Vion Food Group sign Over 300 workers at Gaerwen will lose their jobs on 12 April unless a buyer is found for the business

Related Stories

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.

Start Quote

We feel we are being cheated terribly here... the company is set to lose a lot more than they would if they paid us”

End Quote Jamie Pritchard Unite senior shop steward

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."

Start Quote

The business is currently preparing plans to manage supply to customers for this period”

End Quote Welsh Country Foods

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".

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC North West Wales

Weather

Anglesey

26 °C 17 °C

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.