Dunbia have announced that they are to close their Felinfach plant after the lease has come up for renewal.
The closure affects 34 employees, who will now be out of a job.
The plant owners had earlier announced that they were entering a consultation process together with employees and representatives of workers’ unions. That process has now been complete, and of the 141 existing staff, the news is good for 107 of them. They will be moving on to food jobs at the other plants in Wales owned by the company, preserving their employment with the brand.
After a notice of termination on the lease which came from their landlord, the company had no choice but to redistribute those employees which it could. Sadly, this means that 34 employees have not been able to stay with the company and will now be looking for other food recruitment opportunities.
They have been put on notice of redundancy – in most cases, likely because they are unable to travel to the other plants or were not able to find a suitable position within those which were available.
Helen Rees is the HR Director for Dunbia. She said, “We currently employ over 1,100 staff in Wales between our three facilities and, despite the closure of Felinfach, we expect this number to be higher in 12 months’ time as we continue to invest in growing the business. The closure at Felinfach is due to circumstances beyond our control, and we have made a significant effort to offer staff alternative employment options and to support them through this transition. We are delighted that the majority of the Felinfach employees have opted to remain with the company – we would have preferred to have retained all staff in the process, but we understand the change does not suit all employees for their own personal reasons.”
Free Bus Service
In order to make the transition as smooth as possible, Dunbia will be running a free bus service which is available for the use of the employees who have been transferred out to new locations. This will allow them to continue their normal travelling routine, but take the extra step of the bus rather than starting work in Felinfach.
The bus will stop at Felinfach, Lampeter, Llanybydder, and Cross Hands. Because of the distance, any staff who are transferring over to Cross Hands will also be receiving a support payment. This is hoped to serve as recognition from Dunbia of the considerable disruption which will be caused by the move.
Dunbia appears not to be suffering too badly from the changes; in fact, they seem to have bounced back onto their feet with this successful negotiation and the movement of staff. For now, they will likely be looking to move the production from the now-defunct Felinfach factory and spread it where possible between their other sites. This will mean all hands on deck for a busy season as they attempt to make up the deficit.
The company have so far given no word on whether they plan to open a new site soon, and if so, where it will be. It can only be surmised that they will eventually need to replace the closed site in order to spread the production burden more evenly between its plants.
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