Hyslop - Vion "have a lot to answer for"

Reacting to news that the owners of Halls of Broxburn have told the 1700 staff that the plant is set to close by February 2013, Linlithgow MSP Fiona Hyslop, who has been part of the task force trying to save the plant, said:

“I am extremely frustrated that despite the best efforts of everyone on the taskforce, Vion have taken the decision to proceed with closure. This is a dark day for Broxburn.

“Frankly, Vion have a lot to answer for. They have a loyal, skilled and experienced workforce here which they have abandoned, and they have knocked back every effort that has been made by the Scottish Government and others to find a solution.

“This did not have to happen. Vion has a very good relationship with its customers – such as the supermarkets – and the fact that staff being getting asked to work overtime shows that there is still a market there, but the company have chosen to put their self-interest ahead of that of the workforce. They could and should have avoided this closure.

“In a very short time, the task force has already identified millions of pounds in savings for the plant – it is the workforce who have the knowledge to drive this forward further, but Vion have turned their back on this.

“Despite this, we must continue to look for a solution. The task force will meet again next week and we must now pull together to see how we can move forward.

“But the onus is now on Vion to make a contribution to the community which it has left devastated by this decision.”