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H 250: Unite vows to pull out all the stops to save chicken factory jobs

FOOD workers’ union Unite vowed today to do “everything it can” in its battle to save 900 jobs threatened by the planned closure of three poultry plants.

Chicken supplier 2 Sisters Food Group told its workforce on Thursday that it will close its Cambuslang site in Scotland and its Smethwick and Wolverhampton sites in England.

The company announced that it also plans to create up to 1,000 jobs at other plants, with around 300 of them in Devon.

Unite said it would now enter consultation with the company and press the case for investment and alternatives to the closures in a series of meetings with the firm over the coming weeks.

It argued that is it “not viable” for workers to relocate across the country.

Unite national officer for food Joe Clarke said: “These plans have caused a lot of uncertainty and dismay for the workers involved.

“Unite will be doing everything it can to support our members and secure their futures following this announcement.

“These plans will impact on communities and employment opportunities in Scotland and the West Midlands.”

Last year, undercover Guardian and ITV News footage at one of the sites in West Bromwich showed staff altering the slaughter date of poultry — as well as other food hygiene issues.

“Workers who have stuck with the company through thick and thin and worked hard to make it a success will inevitably feel a sense of betrayal,” Mr Clarke said.

“The 2 Sisters Food Group needs to engage in the consultation constructively and be willing to listen to alternatives to site closures.”

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