Strike action is on the cards over increased Saturday working for 18 transport drivers at AB Agriculture in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

Unite the union said that its members at the animal feed firm were angry at the unilateral imposition of increased weekend working from one Saturday every four weeks to two Saturdays in four – with no pay rise.

A meeting will be held later this month to plan for industrial action, after the drivers voted by 62 per cent for strike action and by 87 per cent for industrial action short of a strike.

Unite has said that the new rotas were ‘an undiluted attack on the work/life balance’ at the Eastern Way site.

Unite regional officer Steve Harley said: “The company’s unilateral imposition is an attack on our members’ work/life balance and also an erosion of continuous rest breaks, which are essential to the safety of all road users.

“What is happening at Bury St Edmunds is an unappetising race to the bottom. Working days can already exceed 12 hours a day. Therefore, weekends are essential to those who want a proper work/life balance and time to be with their families.

“This firm is making healthy profits but has adamantly refused to talk to Unite in a constructive fashion to resolve this issue.

“These new draconian Saturday rotas are already operating, hence the very real possibility of strikes in the run-up to Christmas, so we are calling, once more, for meaningful negotiations.

“Should the industrial action go ahead, we predict that it will directly impact on the availability of poultry and pig feed to business customers, particularly in Norfolk and Suffolk.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.