2 Sisters’ Smethwick poultry plant faces closure putting hundreds of jobs at risk

2 Sisters Food Group has proposed the closure of its poultry processing site in Smethwick where 630 people work, saying the factory is ageing and keeping it open would mean “significant challenges to meet the standards required by ourselves and our customers.”
In a statement, a spokesman for the firm said: “We can confirm we are consulting with colleagues about a proposal to cease production at our poultry processing site in Smethwick and as a result the site could close.
“We do not take this decision lightly and fully understand the impact if this proposal goes ahead. This is why we will offer affected colleagues up to 200 roles currently at our West Midlands locations, which we will convert from agency to permanent roles.
“In addition, we will also seek redeployment of colleagues to our other sites in the West Midlands and the wider Group.
“We are committed to our operations in the West Midlands and will work hard to ensure all possible options for colleagues are fully explored before any final decisions are made.

Unite, the country’s largest union, has 530 members working at the Smethwick site.  

Unite’s national officer for food Julia Long said: “We had a positive and constructive meeting with the company’s management on Monday 10 April and have made a commitment to prepare a set of proposals to save as many jobs as possible.

“We will be presenting our proposals to the management when we meet them again at Smethwick on Friday 21 April. 

“One of the areas we will be investigating to mitigate job losses is redeployment across the firm’s other operations in the West Midlands, as it was made clear that the Smethwick site will close. 

“We won’t enter into speculation as to how many jobs may be saved.

“This announcement has been devastating news for the company’s workforce at the Smethwick site and their families. Unite is offering our members maximum support at this very difficult time.

“During the 45-day consultation period, we will be fighting our members’ corner during further meetings with management to achieve the best outcome possible in terms of future employment opportunities.”

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