South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has warned that the real jobs impact of the closure of Pinneys of Annan could be nearer 700 rather than the 450 reported.

The local MSP said the 450 jobs did not include agency and seasonal staff and securing employment for all workers affected by the proposed closure needed to be the prioirity.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “It’s clear that when you add in agency workers and seasonal staff the potential job losses at Pinneys is nearer 700 rather than the 450 reported, and that’s before you take into account the impact on other local business who will be affected. The so-called 50 extra jobs at Youngs other site also aren’t new jobs because they are already currently being filled by temporary workers. In a town the size of Annan where the majority of the Pinneys workforce live within ten miles of the factory, that’s the equivalent of 50,000 jobs losses in the Glasgow area. Both the UK and Scottish Governments need to start to fully appreciate the scale of the devastation if this closure goes ahead”.

“The establishment of an Action group is a small step in the right direction following the call by myself and local Councillor Sean Marshall for a taskforce. However, so far the UK Government aren’t at the table and the role of local MSPs, Ward Councillors and the Unions seems to be to be briefed by the Action Group after decisions have been made rather than contribute to those decisions on behalf of the workforce we represent, so that needs to change. Everyone needs to be working together and remember that the most important people in this whole process are the workforce and local community.”

“Clearly the first aim is to try to make Young’s Seafood change their decision to close the Pinneys site.  That won’t be easy because Pinneys have decided not accept certain contracts from Marks and Spencers at the proposed price and that means they have immediately given up on two thirds of the business they did at Pinneys. However, hopefully the company can be convinced to retain at least natural salmon processing in Annan and other business can be sourced for Youngs or a buyer can be found for part or all of the current plant”

“We need to get the message out to potential buyers that if Youngs don’t want to stay, then the Pinneys site is built to the very highest standards at a location literally next to the motorway and there is an excellent, experienced workforce on site ready and waiting to work for a new employer.”

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