Union in call for assurances on Moy Park

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Moy Park workers need assurances over the future in light of plans to sell the company, the Unite union has said.

It was announced today (Tuesday) that the company, which has its head office in Seagoe Industrial Estate, is set for resale by parent company JBS SA.

Unite Regional Officer Sean McKeever called for action by political leaders on the long-term future of Moy Park.

He said, “Moy Park employs 12,000 workers across the UK, with almost half based at its operations in Northern Ireland; making it the most regionally significant employer here.

“The announced sale of the company by the world’s largest meatpacking company, JBS, casts a shadow over its future at a time when it already faces extensive uncertainties as a result of Brexit.

“We are seeking assurances that any new owner will demonstrate their long-term commitment to our 3,000 members in the company. We want to see a meaningful investment plan and confirmation that they will continue to engage with Unite as the representative body for more than half the workforce.”

He added, “We would be very concerned that this announced sale, coming within a year of its previous acquisition by JBS, may open the door to venture capitalists. They would have no interest in the workforce but would buy the company for its order book, intent on asset-stripping the business for short-term profit.”

Janet McCollum, Moy Park chief executive, speaking earlier, said, “Moy Park is a successful and growing food business with a solid financial standing. I have no doubt that our success is due to the great strengths of this business – our exceptional people, innovation and performance. I also know that this will ensure our continued growth and stability well into the future.”