LOCAL council leaders have begun a fight to save at least some of the 450 jobs at the threatened Young’s Seafood factory at Annan in the south of Scotland.
They made the pledge after meeting Scottish government ministers yesterday. Elaine Murray, the leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, and her deputy, Rob Davidson, are urging Young’s Seafood to reconsider its decision.
Young’s sent shockwaves through the area on Tuesday by announcing that it planned to shut the Pinney’s site, probably by the end of the year.
The firm said the plant was no longer financially viable and it would move natural salmon production to Grimsby. However, it plans to add 50 jobs at its scampi factory in Annan.
But it is the loss of 450 posts in an area of already high unemployment and few job opportunities that is worrying the Scottish government and Dumfries and Galloway Council.
Cllr Murray and Cllr Davidson said in a joint statement last night: ‘At a time like this actions speak louder than words. Within the past 24 hours, we have met with the deputy first minister and cabinet secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity and spoken to the minister for Business Innovation and Energy to ask for support and intervention to preserve as many jobs as possible.
‘Just because Young’s have announced this closure does not mean that we accept this lying down. We need to do everything that we can to take up the case with the company to persuade them to reconsider the closure of the site in Annan.’
Meanwhile, Five Star Fish, which set the whole merry-go-round in motion a week ago by announcing the closure of its dedicated Grimsby M&S plant – where 390 people are employed , has told the affected staff not to jump ship too early as jobs opportunities may be available at its nearby (non seafood) operations in Grimsby and nearby Scunthorpe.