Sausage restructure puts 205 Vion jobs at risk

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Trade union, Economics, Unite the union, Sheffield

Sausage restructure puts 205 Vion jobs at risk
Vion says tough trading conditions have forced it to restructure its sausage business, and begin consulting 205 staff on plans to close a site in Sheffield.

Production is set to be consolidated at a second site in Broxburn, Scotland, with the firm blaming a tough “economic and trading climate, with competition for business becoming increasingly fierce”.

Vion, which is headquartered in The Netherlands, said that both its Sheffield and Broxburn sites are under-utilised and operate significantly below capacity, with a resultant impact on operational costs.

Explaining why it had made the decision to close the Sheffield site, with a 90-day consultation with unions and staff begun yesterday, Vion said: “The Broxburn site could accommodate all of Sheffield’s production, as well as offer the potential for further expansion in the years ahead.”

Productive consultation

Steve Francis, md of Vion’s UK Pork business unit said: “We regret the need for these changes in our activities announced today and have informed our employees and their Union representatives of our commitment to consult with them.

“We are intent that consultation will be as productive as possible, and we will be looking for every opportunity to mitigate against job losses.

“The business will be listening and investigating all alternative proposals and will take every step to support all employees during this difficult period. The commitment from the team at Sheffield has never been in question.”

Alternative roles

A Vion spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk that one possibility could involve Sheffield employees being offered alternative roles within the wider group. "One of the comments in the statement ​[on the proposed closure] is that we set out a commitment to consult as productively as possible. We will take every opportunity to mitigate job losses, and have other sites in the North anyway, so it is a possibility."

He said the decision to consolidate production was not the result of lost business​ and cited tough trading conditions "which I am sure your readers will understand".

FoodManufacture.co.uk understands that Unite the Union represents workers at the former Grampian Foods site in Sheffield, but no-one from the union was available for comment as we went to press.

Related topics: Meat, poultry & seafood

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