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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Workers Union given assurances over future of Moy Park in Ballymena

The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) has received assurances over the future of Moy Park’s Ballymena factory after changes to the operational processes at the plant were revealed.

The Union has also blamed the impact of labour shortages on ‘employers who are failing to increase wages and improve terms and conditions of employment’.

Moy Park Ballymena recently announced that between the months of February and September 2022 all processing of live birds will be suspended at the site.

The company has indicated that the shortage of workers for the sector has played a role in this decision, along with the incoming BBQ season that the Ballymena site produces during these months, along with the ability to meet the demand of customers.

In a move to allay the fears of workers and the wider community in Ballymena that has been hit hard in recent years by a decline in the manufacturing industry with the the closure of Michelin and Gallahers/JTI, Moy Park have assured workers union BFAWU, that the suspension decision would be a temporary measure.

The company said the suspension was implemented ‘to secure the continued production of the BBQ orders, with workers from the impacted department being offered a number of options while their own department ceases production. All terms and conditions, including rates of pay and bonuses, will be protected during this period of time’.

Plans for the return of live bird processing at the site is understood to be scheduled for September 2022.

BFAWU Regional Officer Laura Graham

Commenting on the widely-reported changes at the Ballymena site, BFAWU Regional Officer Laura Graham stated:

“The recent announcement to suspend the Kill department at the Ballymena site 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 and we feel that the issue of labour shortages for this industry are a direct result of employers who are failing to increase wages and improve terms and conditions of employment.

“Any worker that is concerned about the announcement can get in contact with us directly for help and assistance.

“While there may be a concern that work will be taken away from the site, we have been informed that processing of orders will be brought to the site from another factory and should balance out the impact of the loss of live bird production during this period.

“There will be no job losses as a result of this announcement.”

BFAWU confirmed representatives at the site have been in discussions with the employer and are available for employees who may have questions or concerns about the temporary measures.

“Please do not hesitate to get in contact with the union if you require any help and assistance.”


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