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Government offers support to closure threatened poultry plant

2 Sisters Food Group has confirmed 450 jobs are at risk at its Cambuslang plant.

Economy: 2 Sisters Food Group employs 450 workers in Cambuslang.
Economy: 2 Sisters Food Group employs 450 workers in Cambuslang. 2018 Google

The Scottish Government will provide "every support possible" to help ensure a productive future for 450 workers at a closure-threatened poultry plant.

2 Sisters Food Group (2SFG) said it is consulting on closure proposals at three loss-making sites - Cambuslang in Scotland and Smethwick and Wolverhampton in England.

Local MP Ged Killen said closing the Cambuslang plant would be "devastating" for the community.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown said the news was a "huge blow" to the company's staff, their families and the local area and said the Scottish Government was working to support them.

Speaking on Friday he said: "Scottish Enterprise met with 2 Sisters Food Group today and will continue to engage with the company throughout its consultation period to explore all possible options to support the business and its workforce.

"We greatly value the poultry industry in Scotland so this is a matter of concern both locally and nationally.

"Our priority will be to work in partnership with the company, the unions and the local authority to provide every support possible to help ensure a productive future for the Cambuslang site and its workforce.

"I am aware that the company is exploring possible redeployment of staff within Scotland to help minimise any potential job losses and I would encourage them to do everything they can to avoid redundancies."

'We greatly value the poultry industry in Scotland so this is a matter of concern both locally and nationally.'
Keith Brown

Nine hundred jobs are at risk across the three sites - 350 at Smethwick and 100 at Wolverhampton.

2SFG said it is creating new jobs at three locations in England - Willand, Devon (300 new roles); Site D, West Bromwich (potentially 400 new roles) and Scunthorpe (30 new roles).

It also plans to create 250 new roles in Coupar Angus, Scotland and 35 at Llangefni in Wales.

The Unite union has vowed to fight the closure proposals.

Unite national officer for food Joe Clarke said: "These plans have caused a lot of uncertainty and dismay for the workers involved.

Unite will be doing everything it can to support our members and secure their futures following this announcement.

"These plans will impact on communities and employment opportunities in Scotland and the West Midlands.

Over the coming days and weeks, Unite will be pressing the case for jobs and investment to save the three sites from closure."

Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP Ged Killen, Labour, said: "I have spoken with Unite the Union and Scottish Enterprise regarding the prospective closure and will be meeting with the management of the plant next week in order to see what options are available to try and protect local jobs.

"2 Sisters has plans to create 1,000 jobs within the poultry supply chain in the UK and I want to see how we can go about ensuring that jobs stay in Cambuslang.

"Losing 450 jobs would be devastating for the local community."

In a statement on Thursday 2SFG said: "As we continue to build a better business, we are simplifying how we work and investing in the areas that can make the most positive difference to our UK poultry operations.

"This means that we will be creating up to 1,000 new roles within the poultry supply chain.

"However, we do have areas of significant challenge and regrettably 900 roles will be at risk at three loss-making sites which we propose to close.

"Our focus now will be to support all affected colleagues and explore all alternative options available to us before making any final decisions."

SNP MSP Clare Haughey visited the workforce and management at the Cambuslang site on Friday and has been in contact with the Scottish Government.

She said: "Given 2 Sisters is such a major employer in my constituency, and throughout Scotland, I've written to the Scottish Government to ask what support and assistance they can give to the company to secure jobs for the future.

"The poultry sector has faced its fair share of challenges in recent years, but I'm determined to do all I can to help those constituents and their families who may be affected."

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