Scottish Business Minister Paul Wheelhouse today demanded that Young’s suspend the transfer of jobs to Grimsby from Annan – after a serious buyer for the Pinneys site came forward.
South Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine – who has campaigned against the closure of Pinneys – welcomed the Minister’s actions, commenting:
“The Business Minister has sent a strong message to Young’s today – you have a moral obligation to the community here in Annan and you will not be allowed to simply walk away from this responsibility.
Mr Wheelhouse told Young’s Chief Executive Bill Showalter the company had a ‘moral obligation’ to do right by the people of Annan in the aftermath of its decision to close the site, causing over 450 job losses.
Mr Wheelhouse told Mr Showalter:
“I would ask you to re-assess your current plans to transfer the natural salmon production to your Grimsby site in July, and instead, put on hold the next phase of redundancies planned for then. Retaining key personnel for securing an investor through protecting vital expertise and skills.
“Young’s has a moral obligation to support the community of Annan in the aftermath of its decision to close Pinneys.”
The Minister also urged the company to make a financial contribution to support local economic growth and mitigate some of the devastating impact of its decision – and indicated that the Scottish Government will provide support to ensure staff are retained through the summer.
Ms McAlpine added:
“Mr Wheelhouse and I are absolutely focussed on securing continued employment for the workforce at Pinneys. He has been working very hard behind the scenes to secure the best possible outcome for a number of weeks.
“I am delighted by the news that a serious buyer for the site has come forward. Young’s must now do everything within its power to secure the sale of the site – including retaining the highly skilled workforce.
“however, we don’t know yet how many jobs might be saved by a potential sale – so I am pleased that the Scottish Government is looking at further investment to support any workers who are made redundant.”