'No viable alternatives'
Blow for Annan as Young’s confirms plant closure
Closure will hit the town hard
Young’s Seafood is to go ahead with the closure of Pinneys of Scotland, despite the efforts of politicians and union representatives to save the jobs of hundreds of workers.
The firm said it had failed to find “viable alternatives” for the Annan plant and will continue with plans to relocate some of the 450 staff to other sites.
Cross-party efforts have been taking place o try to save the plant and even the pop star Calvin Harris, who had a temporary job there, offered to help.
The firm said in a statement: “Unfortunately, having explored this in detail for some time and despite the consultation process, we have not been able to agree any viable alternatives to the closure of the Pinneys site.
“Accordingly, the company now intends to progress with its initial proposals.
“The decision to close the Pinneys site does not mean that collective consultation has ended. We intend to continue to meet with employee representatives on a fortnightly basis to discuss ongoing items, including redeployment opportunities
“Simultaneously, we will commence one to one individual consultations with impacted employees in phases and we are committed to working with PACE.
“Our dedicated, skilled teams at Pinneys are a credit to our company and we will work hard to maintain the employment of our colleagues wherever possible.
“We have a long history of seafood production in Annan and, given that we have another factory in the town where we are a significant employer, we are committed to continuing to play a role in the local community.”
Paul Wheelhouse: ‘disappointing’ (pic: Terry Murden)
Scottish Government business minister Paul Wheelhouse said the decision was “extremely disappointing” and Scottish Secretary David Mundell said it was “devastating”.
Mr Wheelhouse said: “Today’s confirmation by Young’s Seafood that it will proceed with the closure of the Pinneys site in Annan is not unexpected, but still extremely disappointing and will quite clearly be a bitter blow to the employees, their families and the wider community.
“Despite our best efforts and offers of support to encourage Young’s to retain some production at the site it recently became clear that Young’s were focused on extracting themselves from the site to concentrate the natural salmon production on Grimsby.
“As such, the Scottish Government and our partners in the action group will continue to work tirelessly to identify and support any potential new investor to the site.
“We have held initial discussions with all interested parties and this dialogue will continue over the next few days and weeks in an effort to support more detailed discussions with potential buyers of the site and keep production at the site with the objective of retaining as many jobs as we can in recognition of the economic impact on Annan and the surrounding area.”
Mr Mundell said: “This is absolutely devastating news for Annan and the wider community. The fact we have been expecting it does not lessen the blow in any way.
“Pinneys’ 450 staff have worked hard and been loyal to the company for many years. Young’s Seafood can’t just walk away, they have a responsibility to do everything they can to support those who are losing their jobs – including through opportunities at their scampi plant and in helping to find a future for the Pinneys site.
“I will be meeting workers over the next few days and I will continue to work with the Scottish Government and local authority to do all we can to secure a future for the plant.
“The Pinneys workforce have really shown their mettle during this dreadfully difficult time. We owe it to them to fight on for the best possible outcome.”