Court halts turkey worker strike

A strike by hundreds of workers at turkey producer Bernard Matthews has been called off after the company took legal action to halt the industrial action.

A strike by hundreds of workers at turkey producer Bernard Matthews has been called off after the company took legal action to halt the industrial action.

Bernard Matthews was set to apply to the High Court for an injunction to stop Thursday's strike claiming the strike ballot was invalid.

But after last minute negotiations outside the court, union Unite agreed to cancel the strike and gave an undertaking no further strike action would be called on the outcome of the invalid ballot.

Unite had called the action after workers rejected a 2pc pay offer, which they said amounted to a pay cut.

They claimed the strike, which would have involved up to 1,200 workers at the company's factories in Holton, Great Witchingham and Dunstable, could have disrupted supplies of Christmas turkeys.

Unions and management are now set to begin talks again about the pay claim tomorrow .

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A Unite spokesman confirmed there had been a successful legal challenge, but the workers were keen to pursue their pay claim and talks would begin with the company this week.

A Bernard Matthews spokesman said: “Bernard Matthews can confirm that it was intending to seek an injunction to stop industrial action by Unite. Once the terms of the company's application were made known to Unite, it decided not to contest this application.

“Bernard Matthews wishes to reiterate here that regardless of recent events, the company's management will continue their open and positive engagement with employee representatives. It is hoped that this constructive approach will secure future success of the business and help employees achieve their aspirations.”

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