The campaign to save more than 577 seafood factory jobs in the town of Annan will step up on Wednesday with a mass meeting supported by politicians from all parties.
The ‘Save Pinneys of Annan’ campaign group and Joan McAlpine MSP will jointly host the meeting in the Market Hall in Annan.
Workers, many of whom have been employed at the Pinneys factory for decades, will lead the meeting and outline the devastating consequences of Young’s pulling out of the town and relocating key contracts to Grimsby.
Council Leader Elaine Murray will update the meeting on the work of the action group, formed by the council and the Scottish Government last week.
Constituency MSP Oliver Mundell and Unite union’s Andy MacFarlane will also speak. Sandy Rogerson, co-convener of Dumfries & Galloway Greens will be in attendance along with local councillors.
The campaign group, formed by Catrina Baxter whose family work at the factory, is urging as many people as possible to attend to send a loud statement to Young’s, and to sole Pinneys’ customer Marks and Spencer, that they have a moral obligation to the town after many years of loyal service.
The high street retailer has been accused of breaching its own social responsibility charter in its treatment of the Annan workers.
For many years M&S insisted that Pinneys produce for them exclusively.
However a strategy of squeezing margins and restructuring the M&S supply chain has seen the company place Pinneys contracts elsewhere and left workers in Annan nowhere to go.
Organisers hope the meeting will send a strong message to corporate bosses – and the M&S customers who have enjoyed the up market delicatessen and ready meals that the skilled workers produce.
Tina Baxter of the Save Pinneys of Annan campaign group urged as many workers and locals as possible to come along:
“Please, I urge as many people as possible to come along tomorrow night.
“We need your help, and we can’t to do this without you!”
Ms McAlpine, who wrote to M&S Chairman Archie Norman at the weekend begging him to adhere to his company’s own social responsibility pledges, said:
“Young’s and M&S need to know that Annan will simply not roll over and allow them to close Pinneys without a fight – it is simply too important to the local community, local economy, and for the workers who have been loyal to the plant for many many years.
“I am re-assured that the Scottish Government and the action group are working hard to do all they can to keep natural salmon production in Annan rather than moving it to Grimsby, and also find new contracts and potential operators for the site.
“The strength of feeling in the local community is palpable, and elected members from all parties are on board to show solidarity with the workers inspiring fightback.”
The meeting will take place in the Market Hall, Downies Wynd, Annan at 6pm on the 11th of April. All media welcome to attend.
Save Pinneys of Annan campaign page: https://www.facebook.com/Save-Pinneys-of-Annan-1003376616485391/
Joan’s letter to Archie Norman and flyer for tomorrow night’s meeting attached.