T&G union calls for more compensation for culled workforce after Bernard Matthews gets £600,000 for dead turkeys

The Transport and General Workers’ Union (T&G) has renewed its call for compensation for workers laid off during the bird flu crisis and its aftermath at food processors Bernard Matthews.

The publication of the government’s final scientific report has triggered £600,000 compensation payout to the company for the 160,000 birds that were slaughtered during the H5N1 bird flu outbreak at the Norfolk turkey farm earlier this year.

National and local leaders of the T&G reiterated their view that the government should also look at European precedents and ensure the workers do not lose out.

“There is European precedent for direct government support for workers whose jobs have been affected by outbreaks, and the UK government should act in the same way as the Spanish and Italian governments did in similar circumstances,” said Chris Kaufman, T&G national secretary for agriculture.

“We believe it is certainly right for the company to be paid according to its entitlements, but there are more than 200 of our members who have suffered through no fault of their own – including many who played a key role in limiting the bird flu outbreak. They have a case for payment.”

The T&G has paid out hardship monies from union funds to union members. This was on top of any state benefits to which the laid off workers were entitled and the one-off £100 payment from Bernard Matthews.


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