Turkey workers strike over imposition of five-day week

Anger
at the planned imposition of a five-day week against the wishes of staff at
turkey producer Bernard Matthews has resulted in strike action.

The
Transport and General Workers’ Union (T&G) has confirmed that there will be
a strike on Monday – action it described as the first ‘family-friendly’ walkout.

Peter
Medhurst, T&G regional industrial organiser, said: "We said at the
outset of talks that the people who work a four-day week wanted to keep it that
way.

"In
fact, they voted in overwhelming numbers to keep their shift as it suited their
family circumstances and working preferences, but the senior management now
seems intent on riding roughshod over them."

The
company had put forward plans for changes to shifts at its production and
processing sites in Norfolk, but the T&G said the plans would directly
affect around 1,000 staff and would have a knock-on effect on all employees.
The union has reported that managers on site do not believe the changes will
work.

"This
company has an enviable reputation for being a good neighbour and a local
philanthropist," said Medhurst. "But it seems that when it comes to
respecting and valuing what the staff say and want, it’s another matter
completely."

By
Mike Berry

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