A decision was taking to instead introduce seven-day working operations at the site, helping the business to grow a new customer base.
A spokesperson explained that a “meaningful consultation” had been undertaken between the manufacture’s management and members of staff. After coming to an agreement, it was decided that switching to having the site working every day of the week would give them the opportunity to build and grow a new customer base over coming months.
They said, “Colleagues at site have shown that they have both the skills and levels of commitment necessary to make this new venture successful and we would like to thank them for their patience and positive attitude demonstrated throughout an uncertain period. We would also wish to acknowledge the efforts of Unite in working in partnership with the company to secure jobs at Site E.”
Joe Clarke is the Unite national officer for the food sector. Unite were heavily involved in the discussions, and after the announcement was made that the site would stay open, Clarke said, “The Wolverhampton site of 2 Sisters has now been secured due to cooperative dialogue between Unite and the management. We are pleased to announce that about 180 food jobs – the total workforce – have been secured for the foreseeable future. Constructive engagement has led to increased flexibility and also the introduction of new products has provided a lifeline. We look forward to a positive relationship with 2 Sisters going forward.”
The site was originally going to be closed in February of this year, although the discussions were able to continue long enough to secure a new life for the facility and all workers there. This is a great win for Unite and for this particular processing plant, particularly considering that other areas of the business have not been quite so lucky.
Two other 2 Sisters sites, in Smethwick and Cambuslang in Scotland, were both announced as scheduled for closure at the same time as the Wolverhampton plant. Altogether, the three plants included 900 employees – which means that a lot of new people are still entering the food recruitment process as a result of the 2 Sisters closures.
Billed as an attempt to simplify their operations, 2 Sisters said that the closures were done in order to allow for investments in the more profitable areas of the business. It appears that they may be putting their money where their mouth is, as this decision proves they are open to ideas that may help the business to grow further.
They have also replaced some of the jobs, albeit in completely different locations. The Willand, Coupar Angus, Llangefni, and Scunthrope sites were all promised another 300 new roles, while the West Bromwich site was earmarked for 400 potential new recruits.
They have also created an extra 250 jobs at the chicken processing plant in Coupar Angus, near Perth, by investing £5 million in the facilities there. This has allowed them to double the cutting capacity in their portions department, which is part of their longer term aims to make their supply chains shorter. According to the company, they are on target to make their processing more efficient, which will result in cut costs as well as the potential for increased sales.
This is a result that the company sorely needs, after a rough start to the year that saw them penalised for contravening industry regulations and forcing their CEO to step down.