Call for help for staff at doomed factory

Concerned: Caroline Flint.
Concerned: Caroline Flint.

DONCASTER MP Caroline Flint is calling for action to help staff when a factory closes with the loss of 255 jobs this week.

Ms Flint said the closure of the Vion chicken processing factory in Thorne on Friday is ‘a big blow’.

The MP was involved in an eleventh hour campaign to try and keep the factory at Coulman Road, open.

Now she says it is vital the members of staff losing their jobs are given support to find alternative employment.

Ms Flint said: “It is very sad that Vion can no longer support their factory in Thorne, which has a long history of producing chickens and other food and providing jobs to people in Doncaster.

“The closure of Vion is a big blow for its workforce, for Thorne and the many families from across Doncaster who have contributed to its success over the years.

“It is particularly worrying that private sector jobs are being hit, when big job losses are coming in the public sector. I want Doncaster to retain the skills in food processing that this workforce has to offer.

“Doncaster is a great place to do business – and we can’t let it be abandoned like it was in the 80s and 90s.”

Ms Flint, whose office has also been in contact with the union representing workers at the Vion factory, added: “The priority must now be ensuring all Vion staff are offered the training and support they may need to find new jobs with other local businesses.”

Last week she revealed she had been in talks with the company’s bosses to try and save the site.

She contacted the Government asking for some form of intervention, but the closure was confirmed this week.

Vion announced plans to close the factory in May. It employs 255 staff in its factory and head office.

It said the move was necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of its operations but added the commitment of staff at Thorne was not in question.