'Vital that DAERA maintain key functions throughout industrial action' – Lockhart

DUP MP Carla Lockhart has said that it is incumbent upon DAERA to maintain key functions throughout upcoming planned industrial action across Veterinary Services Animal Health Group staff.
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Carla Lockhart said: “It is the right of any employee to take industrial action over pay and conditions, and I fully understand the frustration amongst public sector workers at the refusal of the government to step in and address public sector pay concerns. The government wish to wash their hands of this issue, but I will continue to challenge them on their failure to act.

“Throughout this period of potential industrial action, it is vital that DAERA sustain the key functions that allow our agri-food sector to continue safely. In areas such as animal slaughter and processing, it is important that intensive sectors are facilitated. We cannot have a backlog of animals in the system, and the subsequent disruption on farm and our processing sectors.

“Furthermore, we need to see as little disruption as possible to live animal and animals product exports, and the movement of animals and animal products to Northern Ireland. We need DAERA to facilitate as much of these key functions as they possibly can.

Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart. (Pic supplied by Carla Lockhart)Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart. (Pic supplied by Carla Lockhart)
Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart. (Pic supplied by Carla Lockhart)

“Should this industrial action go ahead as has been indicated, I would encourage anyone impacted to make themselves aware of the changes to services by DAERA. My hope is that DAERA can handle their functions to the maximum capacity possible through this period. Time will tell.”