Hall's of Broxburn factory jobs taskforce to reconvene

Vion warned that 1,700 jobs were under threat at Hall's of Broxburn

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A taskforce set up to safeguard jobs at a threatened West Lothian food plant has met for a second time.

The taskforce was established by ministers to deal with potential redundancies at Hall's of Broxburn.

Dutch food company Vion warned on 5 July it could be forced to close the plant, with the loss of 1,700 jobs.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said he was encouraged by the progress the taskforce had made but it was still at "a very early stage in the process".

Mr Swinney, who assembled the task force, said: "I will continue to do everything in my power to deliver continuity and security for the people employed at the plant."

He added: "The taskforce will continue to work tirelessly with unions and management to ensure we leave no stone unturned in our endeavours to deliver a positive result for the workforce and community."

The company said its pork processing facility had continued to record "unsustainable losses" in spite of "major restructuring exercises".

The taskforce also representatives from Vion, Usdaw, West Lothian Council, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International and Skills Development Scotland.

After the taskforce meeting, Alasdair Cox, director of corporate affairs at Vion, said: "Given that we are still at an early stage of the consultation process it would be inappropriate to comment further on progress at this time."

Vion Food Group purchased the Broxburn plant in August 2008 from Grampian Country Food Group, which had been in financial difficulties for several years.

It employs 1,150 permanent and 595 agency staff at the major processing facility for Scottish pork, handling 8,000 pigs each week.

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