34 jobs to be lost when meat pack­ing plant closes

Western Mail - - BUSINESS -

A MEAT pack­ing plant in west Wales that is home to 141 staff is to close, it has been con­firmed.

Dun­bia, which has 15 fa­cil­i­ties across Wales, Eng­land, Scot­land and North­ern Ire­land, is to close its meat-pack­ing plant in Felin­fach in Ceredi­gion within a mat­ter of weeks.

The com­pany has in­sisted, how­ever, that they will con­tinue to in­vest in the busi­ness in west Wales by fo­cus­ing on their sites in Cross Hands and Llany­by­d­der in Car­marthen­shire.

The news will still come as a blow to the 141 peo­ple who cur­rently work in Felin­fach, all of whom have been in­volved in a con­sul­ta­tion process with their em­ploy­ers which has re­cently con­cluded.

Staff were all of­fered al­ter­na­tive roles at the com­pany’s other lo­ca­tions in Car­marthen­shire which are both com­pany-owned.

The plant in Felin­fach was not owned by Dun­bia - who merged with Cross Hands-based Dawn Meats last year - and the clo­sure fol­lows the ter­mi­na­tion of a lease agree­ment.

34 staff will be made re­dun­dant, and the re­main­ing 107 will be of­fered a free bus ser­vice to trans­port them to their new work­ing quar­ters, which will stop at Felin­fach, Lam­peter, Llany­by­d­der and Cross Hands.

The com­pany will also pro­vide a “sup­port pay­ment” to those who are re­lo­cat­ing “in recog­ni­tion of the dis­rup­tion caused by the trans­fer”.

Dun­bia says the de­ci­sion to close the Felin­fach plant was out of their con­trol, and in­sist that they will con­tinue to in­vest in their other lo­ca­tions, which, they claim, will lead to them ac­tu­ally em­ploy­ing more peo­ple in Wales.

“We cur­rently em­ploy over 1,100 staff in Wales be­tween our three fa­cil­i­ties, and de­spite the clo­sure of Felin­fach we ex­pect that this num­ber will be higher in 12 months’ time as we con­tinue to in­vest in grow­ing the busi­ness,” said He­len Rees, HR di­rec­tor at Dun­bia.

“The clo­sure at Felin­fach is due to cir­cum­stances be­yond our con­trol, and we have made a sig­nif­i­cant ef­fort to of­fer staff al­ter­na­tive em­ploy­ment op­tions and to sup­port them through this tran­si­tion.”

In Fe­bru­ary, the com­pany had de­nied that jobs were at risk but did ad­mit that they were re­view­ing their “fac­tory foot­print”.

The un­cer­tainty led to a meet­ing be­ing held at the Na­tional Assem­bly build­ing in Cardiff, where a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Dun­bia met with politi­cians to dis­cuss the firm’s fu­ture in West Wales.

The Felin­fach plant will close next month.

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