MP CAROLINE Flint is making a final effort to save jobs that will be lost by the imminent closure of the Vion Food factory in Thorne.
The plant is due to shut in August with the loss of over 250 jobs.
The company intends to concentrate production on its factories in North Wales and Perthshire, Scotland. Ms Flint has met with Vion Food managers and been in discussion about saving jobs in Thorne throughout June and July.
Said Ms Flint: “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 we find on every major supermarket shelf each week.
“The company did state in their letter to me that they were ‘investigating alternative proposals’ and I took that to mean looking for potential buyers for the factory.
“I know they have had at least one firm offer from a firm in their industry and I am lobbying Vion Food UK to put the community and jobs first and strike a deal to keep this factory open.”
Ms Flint said the details of the firm and the offers were confidential.
“I am not privy to the negotiations, and I know this is a commercial decision, but I think Vion Food has a responsibility to the many families from Thorne and Doncaster that have contributed to its success over the years.
“I also want Doncaster to retain the skills in food processing that this workforce has to offer.”
The Don Valley MP has written to Ton Christiaanse, the chief executive of Vion Food UK to persuade the Vion Board to look at the closure again.
She has also lobbied Vince Cable to ask the Government to step in. “The Government decided to wind up Yorkshire Forward who would normally step in to help where a major employer was going to be lost to our region.
“Now Yorkshire Forward is going, the Government cannot wash its hands of the problem when jobs are being lost. I hope Vince Cable steps up to the plate on this issue.”
Vion declined to comment this week. At the time the proposed closure was announced, the Netherlands-based company said the Thorne plant was struggling because of rising feed and fuel costs, plus the lack of local suppliers.
Significant investment would also be needed within five years to meet health and safety requirements.