Poultry plant employing 450 to close in August

13 April 2018, 06:40

2 sisters

A poultry plant which employs 450 people is to close in August in a "devastating blow" for the community.

Following an extensive consultation the 2 Sisters Food Group said it could not avoid closing the "heavily loss-making operation" in Cambuslang.

Politicians said it was devastating news for the workforce, while the Unite union said it would seek legal counsel on alleged consultation breaches.

Workers were informed of the decision to close the plant in South Lanarkshire on Thursday.

2 Sisters Food Group (2SFG) said: "Following an extensive period of consultation with colleagues and external agencies, it is with regret that we can confirm the closure of our site in Cambuslang.

"This is not a decision we take lightly. Since day one, we have been very open on the big challenges the factory faces. In fact we have been trying extremely hard to reverse the position for a considerable period of time.

"We have invested several million pounds since 2014 and expanded by taking on more people, yet it is still a heavily loss-making operation.

"We have tried every turnaround option available to us for several years, ranging from cost reduction measures and an attempt to grow the business organically. It has made little difference.

"And after many hours of talks in recent weeks, we have not seen any credible proposal to change our view."

The company said it hopes to keep compulsory redundancies to a minimum and will look at redeployment options with colleagues.

The announced closure follows an eight-week consultation between the company, Unite, Scottish Enterprise, Business Minister Paul Wheelhouse and local politicians.

Unite convener Scot Walker said: "In the message to workers today there is a great shedding of written crocodile tears.

"The reality is different. It is about a closure decision that was already reached before consultation began. And then a process to deliver the company's foregone conclusion.

"What a shabby way to treat a workforce that has shown great loyalty to this company."

Politicians offered their support to workers.

Local MSP Clare Haughey, SNP, said: "This decision is devastating for Cambuslang and nearby communities, and I will ensure I can be of as much assistance as possible to my constituents during this difficult time."

Labour MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West Ged Killen said: "This announcement is a devastating blow for the workforce, their families and the wider community in Cambuslang."

He added: "The priority now must be securing the best possible outcome for the workers who will be affected and I will do whatever I can to help in that process.

Mr Wheelhouse said the Scottish Government had worked with other agencies and the company exploring "every possible option" to secure a sustainable future for the site and safeguard the jobs in Cambuslang.

He said: "The news from 2 Sisters Food Group on the outcome of the consultation with staff at its Cambuslang site is hugely disappointing. I know this will be an incredibly difficult time for the workforce, their families and the local areas affected by the decision to close."

He added: "Unfortunately, despite our very best efforts, the 2 Sisters Food Group has decided that closure cannot be avoided. Our Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) team will now work with 2 Sisters Food Group to fully support the affected staff through this very difficult period."

2SFG previously announced it plans to create 250 new roles in Coupar Angus.