By Adam Heppell
2 Sisters Food Group is to close its Smethwick processing plant in the West Midlands, with the loss of around 250 jobs.
The producer says closure of the ageing factory later this month is the only option in order to conform to environmental requirements, and while it has found jobs for approximately half of the affected employees it is ‘hopeful’ as many as 90 positions could be found in the coming weeks.
“It’s with much regret that we have had to close one of the original 2 Sisters sites, but we have done our very best to find as many alternative roles as possible for colleagues,” said communications director Peter King.
The company disputed claims from the union Unite that some 300 roles could be at risk – King added that 250 workers have taken voluntary redundancy.
Julia Long, Unite’s national officer for the food industry, said: “Unite can confirm that the Smethwick site will close on 23 June which is very disappointing news for the workforce.
“Through intensive negotiations we have managed to save about 250 jobs which will be taken up by other 2 Sisters’ sites in the West Midlands.
“Given the company’s business case that this site was ageing and needed drastic modernisation to conform environmentally, we believe that this was the only achievable outcome.”