December 11 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Support and advice has been offered to hundreds of workers after it was announced a major Suffolk food factory would close.
Staff at the 2 Sisters Food Group roast chicken factory in Haughley Park, near Stowmarket, went into work on Tuesday following Monday’s news that the plant, which employs up to 700 people, would close.
Representatives from organisations including Mid Suffolk Citizens Advice Bureau and Job Centre Plus met staff to talk about how to apply for future work.
Around 200 positions could be available across the company’s other local sites – which include Thetford, Flixton, Eye and Witham.
Carol Eagles, manager for Mid Suffolk Citizens Advice Bureau in Stowmarket, said she was expecting an influx of people needing help with benefits.
“We’ve had workers come to us with concerns about losing their jobs and what the future might hold,” she said.
“We have been giving them information on how to access our advice. There are lots of families there who have husbands and wives working there; fathers and sons and mothers and daughters. We are talking about an impact which will affect more than one member of a family – it could be a whole household’s income.”
Mid Suffolk District Council organised the advice event on Tuesday, which included help on housing, business start-up and adult learning.
A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “The Jobcentre Plus ‘Response to Redundancy’ team has been working closely with the owners of the 2 Sisters factory to identify the support required for the employees who are facing redundancy.
“The team has been delivering daily sessions at the premises, so all staff are provided with full information about the support available.”
In August Bosch announced that up to 45 permanent workers, as well as 120 agency staff, could lose their jobs from its site in Stowmarket.
The Haughley Park factory, which is set to close on November 15, employs around 450 permanent staff and up to 250 agency workers at any one time.