A Morrisons worker claims he was sacked for objecting to the supermarket’s use of rapid-growing “FrankenChickens”.
Doug Maw said he lost his job at the Bognor Regis branch last month because he “could not stay silent about animal abuse”.
“I had hoped that my employers would respect my principles but instead they have terminated my job, ignored my pleas, and left these chickens to suffer in silence,” he continued.
An investigation by animal charity Open Cages found this year that chickens, reared by Morrisons supplier Cranswick in East Anglia, were “dying deformed and in pain”.
The birds are genetically engineered to grow unnaturally quickly, leading to lameness and heart attacks.
Commonly dubbed “FrankenChickens”, they can grow from 40 grams to four kilograms within eight weeks.
Maw signed a petition against the practice, sharing the link of Morrisons’ internal Facebook group.
After being reprimanded for the post, he organised a protest in uniform which received national coverage.
Maw was eventually sacked on October 22 following disciplinary hearings that lasted over five hours.
Morrisons reportedly told him that communicating with the press broke a confidentiality agreement, while his protest was “intentionally harmful”.
He was also said to have breached the “Respect in the Workplace Policy” and “Social Media Policy”.
The campaigner insisted he would appeal the decision at an employment tribunal.
“Doug was bound by his conscience to object to Morrisons’ cruel use of these chickens,” The Humane League UK campaigns boss Cordelia Britton said.
“He has been punished for that choice.
“It is disappointing to see that Morrisons do not respect the right of their employees to protest, or to stick up for what is right.”
The supermarket denied that Maw had been sacked for his campaigning.
“In fact, Doug was both offered a meeting to discuss his points with our head of agriculture and an opportunity to present his views to our chief executive,” a spokesperson said.
“Doug was actually dismissed as a result of other disciplinary matters… due to data protection we are unable to go into further detail about these.”