The planned closure of Pinneys highlights the folly of the UK Government’s decision in 2013 to halve the 90-day consultation period to just 45 days before large-scale redundancies can take place, according to South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth.

The cut was implemented by the UK Government in April 2013 and affect all redundancies of 100 or more workers.

However, UNITE the Union Shop Stewards recently highlighted that the 45-day consultation which kicked off in April was insufficient to properly consult the workforce and explore alternatives for Pinneys.

Over 100 members of staff have already been made redundant by Young’s Seafood and full production is scheduled to end at the site in September, but no new buyer has yet been found.

Colin Smyth has now written to the Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell and Greg Clark, the UK Government’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy highlighting the Trade Unions concerns and urging them to reverse the cut.

Colin Smyth said, “One of the clear messages coming from the Trade Unions during the talks over the closure of Pinneys was the fact that the 45-day statutory consultation process was simply not long enough to properly explore options for the future of the site. Union Shop Stewards got the impression that Young’s were simply going through the motions and as soon as the 45 days were up they just rubber stamped the closure. Over 100 employees have now been made redundant and the site is set to end all production in September but no buyer has yet been found. It highlights the folly of the UK Government in cutting the consultation period from 90 days to 45 days and the Unions are right to highlight the fact that watering down workers’ rights has simply made it easier for companies to sack people. Young’s of course could have chosen to extend the consultation if they wanted to but it’s clear the company want out of the Pinneys site as quickly as possible”

“I hope the UK Government will re-consider this cut. Whilst it may not help the Pinneys workforce, it could help others facing a similar situation in the future and I know the Scottish Government share my view that such a short consultation period makes it more difficult to mobilise and plan the support that can minimise the devastating impact of large redundancies on communities”.

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