Usdaw vows to do all it can to save Vion Food Group in West Lothian
Vion Food Group has just announced to stunned workers that it intends to close its meat processing plant in Broxburn, West Lothian putting 1,750 jobs at risk.
The company has so far given little background detail on the reasons for the proposed closure, other than to say that the plant is making ‘significant losses’ that need to be stemmed to protect the rest of the company. The plant employs 1,150 permanent staff and almost 600 agency workers. Nearly 800 workers are members of Usdaw.
Union officials and reps were called to a meeting with the company at 11.00 am this morning to receive the news and briefings to the plant’s 1,750 employees began at midday.
Stewart Forrest, Usdaw’s Deputy Scottish Divisional Officer said: “This is absolutely catastrophic news for everyone who works at Vion Halls and for Broxburn and West Lothian. Our members are understandably shocked and extremely angry at the announcement.
“A 90 days consultation period will start tomorrow, but the first question we want answered is why the company has waited until this eleventh hour before engaging with its employees and their union. We will be examining the company’s business case for the proposed closure in detail and want to know when losses started and why so little action appears to have been taken to address them until now.”
“Vion did indicate last month that the site had financial problems and as a result our members agreed to defer this years pay negotiations. However, Usdaw was given no indication of the true seriousness of the situation and that is extremely regrettable and in my view totally unacceptable.”
“Usdaw will be doing all we can to try and keep the site open, save jobs and support and defend our members through what will be a very difficult and stressful time.”
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