Anglesey meat plant workers to protest Asda decision

Published date: 22 January 2013 |
Published by: Geraint Jones
Read more articles by Geraint Jones


 

WORKERS at Vion’s Welsh Country Foods meat processing plant in Gaerwen will protest Asda’s decision to cancel a contract, putting 350 jobs at risk.

Unite spokesman Paddy McNaught said workers would hand out leaflets at stores in Holyhead, Llangefni and Bangor on Saturday highlighting the effect of a potential closure on island communities.

Meanwhile, Anglesey Council leader councillor Bryan Jones chaired the first Welsh Country Foods Potential Crisis Response meeting in Llangefni yesterday (Monday, January 21), which aimed to support the Gaerwen plant’s workforce as Asda reviews its decision to pull out of a lamb contract.

He said: “Welsh Country Foods is a major employer on Anglesey and losing nearly 350 jobs would be a hammer blow for the local economy.

“With Asda currently reviewing its decision, and the Welsh Government influencing, we are hopeful that a solution can still be found which will save Welsh Country Foods.

"We will certainly all do everything in our power to ensure the right result.”

Representatives of Welsh Country Foods, FUW, NFU, Careers Wales, Unite, Wales TUC and Coleg Menai attended the meeting at the Anglesey Business Centre.

Mr McNaught added: “ As you would expect, there is a low morale, but I think people are pulling together and demonstrating to any potential buyer that we may be in a poor position at the moment, but we can still produce a top quality product even though we’re under the stress of losing our jobs.”

Anglesey MP Albert Owen added: “I shall be calling on David Jones to contact ASDA to reconsider its decision and to look at every way in which we can limit the impact on jobs and the island’s economy.

Mr Owen welcomed the Welsh Government’s offer of assistance or grant aid for any potential investors, and added: “The Gaerwen facility is vital for the region and the wider farming community. I want to see investment in Gaerwen, not closure."

Welsh Country Foods is holding a two month consultation on closure, and has appealed Asda’s decision under the Supermarket Code of Practice.

A spokesman said Asda’s decision was expected in two weeks, and added: “We are exploring every avenue we can with Asda and our potential customers to find some busines for the site.”

Unite spokesman Paddy McNaught said workers would hand out leaflets at stores in Holyhead, Llangefni and Bangor on Saturday highlighting the effect of a potential closure on island communities.

Meanwhile, Anglesey Council leader councillor Bryan Jones this week chaired the first Welsh Country Foods Potential Crisis Response meeting in Llangefni, which aimed to support the Gaerwen plant’s workforce as Asda reviews its decision to pull out of a lamb contract.

He said: “Welsh Country Foods is a major employer on Anglesey and losing nearly 350 jobs would be a hammer blow for the local economy.

“With Asda currently reviewing its decision, and the Welsh Government influencing, we are hopeful that a solution can still be found which will save Welsh Country Foods. We will certainly all do everything in our power to ensure the right result.”

Representatives of Welsh Country Foods, FUW, NFU, Careers Wales, Unite, Wales TUC and Coleg Menai attended the meeting at the Anglesey Business Centre.

Mr McNaught added: “ As you would expect, there is a low morale, but I think people are pulling together and demonstrating to any potential buyer that we may be in a poor position at the moment, but we can still produce a top quality product even though we’re under the stress of losing our jobs.”

Anglesey MP Albert Owen added: “I shall be calling on David Jones to contact ASDA to reconsider its decision and to look at every way in which we can limit the impact on jobs and the island’s economy.

Mr Owen welcomed the Welsh Government’s offer of assistance or grant aid for any potential investors, and added: “The Gaerwen facility is vital for the region and the wider farming community. I want to see investment in Gaerwen, not closure.

Welsh Country Foods is holding a two month consultation on closure, and has appealed Asda’s decision under the Supermarket Code of Practice.

A spokesman said Asda’s decision was expected in two weeks, and added: “We are exploring every avenue we can with Asda and our potential customers to find some busines for the site.”
 

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