Union leaders have described the 900 staff facing redundancy from a Fraserburgh fish factory as “shocked” and “devastated” as crunch talks are held at the plant.
The workforce at Young’s Seafood Ltd in Watermill Road could be axed if the firm’s management pushes ahead with a proposal to move production away from the town.
It follows the loss of a lucrative salmon processing contract with supermarket Sainsbury’s last month which Young’s claim will leave the factory “under-utilised” when the contract ends in November.
Lawrence Wason an officer with the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW), said it was involved with crunch talks with management.
He added: “The staff are shocked and devastated by the Young’s announcement of the possible closure of their Fraserburgh and Spey Valley sites, following the loss of a Sainsbury’s contract.
“We will now engage with the consultation process and look closely the company’s business case for the proposal.
“Our priority is to maximise employment within the business and secure jobs on the site.”
The firm has proposed to move all of its existing contracts to factories in Grimsby, Livingston and Annan with a Spey Valley plant also to close.
Meanwhile, a number of staff met with their local MP and MSP at the factory yesterday morning.
Stewart Stevenson, MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, said the aim was to keep jobs in Fraserburgh.
He said: “The employees at Young’s in Fraserburgh are highly skilled and care passionately about their work. We all agreed to work together to keep jobs in Fraserburgh.”
Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff and Buchan, added: “We are determined to keep as many jobs in Fraserburgh as possible, and we continue to work with the company, the local council and the Scottish Government to try and secure a future for this factory.”
Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government and Aberdeenshire Council have already sounded their support for the factory, offering help and training to get any displaced staff back into work.
On Friday, employees were given some hope that their jobs could be saved when Young’s chief executive Pete Ward said the site could be sold to another firm.