Union officials will next week present proposals to management to retain as many of the 630 jobs threatened by the closure of the 2 Sisters’ plant at Smethwick as possible.
Julia Long, Unite’s national officer for food, said talks so far had been constructive with the company’s management open to ideas of how to save jobs.
“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…but we will be fighting our members’ corner during further meetings with management to achieve the best outcome possible in terms of future employment opportunities.”
2 Sisters Food Group have said the processing factory is closing because the plant is ‘ageing’. It is understood that it may be able to find employment for up to 200 permanent roles elsewhere.
The company has other poultry plants at West Bromwich and Wolverhampton in the region.
The talks follows an announcement a fortnight ago by 2 Sisters of a 17.8% fall in like-for-like operating profits in its second quarter trading update. At the time, chief executive Ranjit Singh blamed the figures on a ‘very tough’ trading environment and currency fluctuations.
Mr Singh said the market would remain challenging but that it would continue to remain resilient and deliver for customers.