How industrial journalism works

Last week, Unison members in the Meat Hygiene Service – 1,000 out of 1400 frontline meat inspectors – voted to go on strike over pay and working patterns. On Monday, a union meeting decided to hold three days of strike action in early December. The inspectors work in England, Scotland and Wales and have sole responsibility for inspecting red meat and, where it’s not deregulated, poultry and game. News alert! Christmas dinners in danger!

I duly wrote up the story. Just as I was doing so this afternoon, the phone rang. It was the Meat Hygiene Service; did I know that the strike had been called off? Oh. One instant Unison press release later, it was time to rewrite the story. Oh well, can’t be that hard.

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