Future looking bleak for factory workers

This year's Fraserburgh Gala in full swing.
This year's Fraserburgh Gala in full swing.

The Fraserburgh plant of Young’sSeafood Limited could close at the end of the year with the loss of hundreds of jobs, it was announced last week.

The company has declared its intention to start formal consultation shortly with staff and their representatives at the Young’s Fraserburgh and Spey Valley sites last week, in a bid to explore proposals and possible options for the facilities.

The discussions follows the recent news that Sainsbury’s is set to transfer its smoked salmon and fresh salmon processing contracts away from Young’s to an alternative supplier - a global fish farming business - in November 2015.

The transfer of the Sainsbury’s business will leave the Fraserburgh and Spey Valley sites significantly under-utilised.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the firm says it has been considering several options and is proposing the future integration and servicing of the remaining customer contracts and volumes presently processed at Young’s Fraserburgh and Spey Valley into Young’s Seafood Limited’s other manufacturing sites in Grimsby, Livingston and Annan.

The firm believes that this proposal delivers a significantly more sustainable manufacturing footprint than other potential consolidation options.

It states: “If, following consultation, this proposal is implemented, it is likely to result in the future closure of the Young’s Fraserburgh and Spey Valley sites in or after November and the loss of more than 900 jobs.

“The proposal could also result in the transfer and/or creation of approximately 200 jobs across Young’s Seafood Limited’s sites in Grimsby, Livingston and Annan.”

The company’s chief executive, Pete Ward, said: “Today’s announcement does not reflect on the skilled teams at Young’s Fraserburgh and Spey Valley, who are committed, dedicated and continue to work hard through this time.

“This process will not be easy, but we have to face some tough decisions and we believe the proposals, outlined today, could deliver a significantly more sustainable manufacturing footprint than other potential consolidation options.

“As we move forward, we continue to be focused on providing our customers and consumers with high quality, good value, fish and seafood and we will talk, in detail, with employees about options for the future.”

Young’s Seafood Limited is a leading supplier of chilled and frozen, branded and retailer branded, fish and seafood to UK retailers and consumers.

The company employs around 3,000 people at eight manufacturing sites in Grimsby, Fraserburgh, Livingston and Annan.