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Worker Voice Needed On Food and Drink Council

Tuesday, February 6, 2018


Without a trade union voice on the Food and Drink Sector Council, it seriously risks becoming an exclusive talking shop for big business says GMB.

GMB, the union for the manufacturing industry, demands workers have a voice on the Government’s new Food and Drink Council.

The council met for the first time at the end of January – but not a single trade union is represented.

The food and drink manufacturing industry alone is worth £28.8 billion to the UK economy and is supported by 400,0000 workers - yet not a single voice from the workers in the food and drink industry were included.

GMB is calling on the Council to ensure that trade unions and workers are invited to be involved in the future work of the group.

Eamon O’Hearn, GMB National Officer, said:

"Without a true voice for the workers on the Food and Drink Sector Council, it seriously risks becoming an exclusive talking shop for big business.

"This £28billion industry relies on thousands of people, including our members, who work every day to not only put food on the table of their family but of families across the country and the world, making some of the most famous British exports from Marmite to Mustard and Whisky to Walkers Crisps.

"Our members deserve more than crumbs off the table from the bosses of the big food and drink businesses."

Bill Esterson, Shadow BEIS Minister, said:

"During preparations for leaving the EU, this is a particularly crucial time for this industry and the people working in it.

“All voices should be heard to ensure that the future work of the Food and Drink Sector Council accurately reflects the needs of everyone involved in the industry and not just big business.

"To enable the full potential of this group to be realised, it needs to be as inclusive as possible and I fully back the calls for trade union and worker involvement in their future work."


Contact: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at

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