250 redundant in 2 Sisters’ Smethwick plant closure
Published:  05 June, 2017
2 sisters food group

The closure of 2 Sisters Food Group’s Smethwick poultry processing plant in the West Midlands on 23 June, rendering 250 jobs redundant, has been branded “very disappointing” by trade union Unite.

2 Sisters has confirmed that 630 staff work at the plant and that it has already been able to find jobs for 290 of them. In addition to the 250 workers who had chosen to take severance pay, the company said it was still working hard to find alternative roles for a further 90 employees over the next few weeks. It said it was “hopeful” that more roles would be found.

A spokesman for 2 Sisters said: “It is 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. The factory is ageing and has significant challenges to meet the standards required by ourselves and our customers.”

Unite’s national officer for the food industry Julia Long said: “Unite can confirm that the Smethwick site will close on 23 June, which is very disappointing news for the workforce.”

She claimed it had managed to save about 250 jobs through negotiation, which would be taken up by other 2 Sisters’ sites in the West Midlands, and that 300 workers faced redundancy. However, 2 Sisters claimed Unite’s numbers were “incorrect”.

“Unite always has the welfare of its members as the top priority and we are continuing to support them in the days and weeks ahead,” said Long.

In April, 2 Sisters confirmed that it had begun consulting on the closure of the Smethwick cutting plant in Staffordshire, which was opened in 1996. It supplies retailers and other manufacturers with chicken portions.