Scottish Labour Leader, Richard Leonard MSP, has called on the Scottish and UK Governments to take more action in response to the closure of the Pinneys factory in Annan.
The call came from Richard Leonard as he met with Unite Trade Union shop stewards from Pinneys on Monday (25 June), along with local MSP Colin Smyth, Labour Councillor’s Elaine Murray and Sean Marshall and former MP and Kate’s Kitchen Trustee Russell Brown to discuss the closure of the Young’s Seafood plant.
Scottish Labour Leader, Richard Leonard MSP said, “The closure of Pinneys is devastating for the workforce and the whole community. One shop steward I met described the start of the redundancies this week as like bereavement being felt by the whole community. The unions were also very clear that the decision by the UK Tory Government to change the law to cut the formal redundancies consultation process from 90 days to just 45 days meant there wasn’t adequate time to explore all the options for Pinneys and that is something we will be continuing to press the UK Government to reverse”.
“Now we have moved into the reality of redundancies on the ground, it’s clear that the Ministerial Action Group set up by the UK and Scottish Government is not an adequate enough response by both Governments and we need to see a more comprehensive approach. That should start with the South of Scotland Economic Partnership and the Scottish Government urgently agreeing to the request by the Council to release £250,000 towards establishing a dedicated team in Annan to support workers and look at ways in which new jobs can be created, by expanding existing businesses and bringing new ones to the area. Government should also replace the limited Action Group with a full Jobs Taskforce involving all stakeholders including the Trade Unions that would not only aim to continue discussions to secure a buyer for the Pinneys site and but pursue ways to grow the local economy and create the jobs the area badly needs. At the heart of the taskforce should be workers and the local community”.
South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth said, “The need for a more adequate response from Government to the pending closure of Pinneys is clear. As a result of the Scottish Government Cabinet re-shuffle , we now have a new Ministerial Team dealing with the economy, business and jobs and I’ll be seeking an early meeting with them to discuss the need for more support and investment in the area to mitigate against these job losses”.