The company, owned by Ranjit Boparan, said it was simplifying its operations and investing in areas where it could make the “most positive” difference.
It said it would also be creating new jobs at other poultry sites with 300 new roles planned for Willand, Devon; 250 in Coupar Angus, Scotland; 35 in Llangefni and 30 in Scunthorpe. It also said that it would have “potentially” 400 new jobs at its West Bromwich site.
The site in West Bromwich was temporarily closed last year after an undercover joint investigation by The Guardian and ITV News made allegations of food hygiene and welfare breaches.
In October, last year Ranjit Boparan faced an all-day probe by the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Committee over the issue. By December 2017, 2 Sisters parent company Boparan Holdings reported operating profit was down by 57.6% to £8.4M.
Regarding the latest developments, a spokesman for 2 Sisters said: “This means that we will be creating up to 1,000 new roles within the poultry supply chain. However, we do have areas of significant challenge and regrettably 900 roles will be at risk at three loss-making sites which we propose to close.
“Our focus now will be to support all affected colleagues and explore all alternative options available to us before making any final decisions.”
Unite will fight proposed closures
Unite, the union, has vowed to fight the closures and said it would leave “no stone unturned”. It said it would now enter into consultation with the company and press the case for investment and alternatives to the planned closures.
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. Over the coming days and weeks, Unite will be pressing the case for jobs and investment to save the three sites from closure.”
He added that it would not be viable for workers at the Cambuslang site to be redeployed because of the distances involved to the other sites.
“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. The 2 Sisters Food Group needs to engage in the consultation constructively and be willing to listen to alternatives to site closures.”