Unite prepares plan to save 2 Sisters Food Group jobs
Published:  10 April, 2017

Plans to save as many 2 Sisters Food Group jobs as possible at its Bevan Way factory in Smethwick, Staffordshire, which is set to close, have been launched by trade union Unite.

Unite, which has 530 members out of 630 staff at the chicken cutting plant, called a meeting it had attended with management representatives from the company today (10 April) “positive and constructive”. It vowed to make retaining as many jobs as possible at the site “the top priority” in a statement following the meeting.

“We will be presenting our proposals to the management when we meet them again at Smethwick on Friday 21 April,” said Unite national officer for food Julia Long. “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.”

The factory in question supplies retailers, other manufacturers and other 2 Sisters Food Group sites with chicken portions.

2 Sisters Food Group confirmed its intention to close the plant, which was opened in 1996.

In a statement, it said: “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 final decisions are made.”