A taskforce created to help safeguard jobs at a Scottish pork processing plant met for the second time on Monday July 30th, in a bid to discuss how best to deal with redundancies should the plant close.
The taskforce at Hall’s of Broxburn has been established by Scottish government finance secretary John Swinney and rural affairs secretary Richard Lochead.
It was created in response to the statement from the owners of the West Lothian plant in early July, which said it may be forced to shut the plant. Citing that “unsustainable” losses were being recorded, it would result in 1,700 job losses.
The taskforce includes representatives from the owners of the site, Dutch-based Vion, as well as representatives from Scottish Development International, Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Usdaw and West Lothian Council.
The primary aim of the taskforce is to keep the plant open, but whether that will be possible is still unclear.
Challenging circumstances are being faced down by many Scottish companies, though some are using strategies such as invoice factoring and discounting to help keep redundancies to a minimum.
The Broxburn processing plant was purchased by the Vion Food Group in August 2008. The deal was struck amid financial difficulties being faced by then owners, Grampian Country Food, and was seen as new beginning for the plant.
However, with the latest difficulties likely to be deeper than previous issues faced, the 1,150 permanent and 595 agency staff will be fearing for their future.
Presently, the plant processes 8,000 Scottish pigs each week.