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Hundreds of jobs lost at 2 Sisters plant

Food and poultry group confirms closure of processing factory in the Black Country

Video: 2 Sisters workers protest outside its Birmingham office

Hundreds of jobs have been lost at West Midlands food and poultry group 2 Sisters after it confirmed plans to close an "ageing" factory in the Black Country.

The company, which is owned Birmingham businessman Ranjit Boparan, is pressing ahead with the closure of its plant in Smethwick on June 23 after launching a consultation with staff over the proposal was launched in April.

The factory on Alpha Business Park, which opened in 1996, employs 630 staff and is a chicken cutting processor, supplying retailers, manufacturers and other 2 Sisters sites with chicken portions.

2 Sisters said in a statement it had been able to find jobs for 290 staff by redeploying them to its other sites in the West Midlands.

A further 250 employees have volunteered to take severance packages.

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The statement added: "We are currently working hard to explore all job opportunities for the remainder of colleagues, around 90 staff, over the next few weeks and are hopeful more roles will be found.

"It's with much regret that we have had to close one of the original 2 Sisters sites but we have done our very best to find as many alternative roles as possible for colleagues."

Trade union Unite has been working with members and management at the plant.

National officer for the food industry Julia Long said: "Through intensive negotiations we have managed to save jobs which will be taken up by other 2 Sisters' sites in the West Midlands.

"Unfortunately, this still means that workers face redundancy.

"However, given the company's business case that this site was ageing and needed drastic modernisation to conform environmentally, we believe this was the only achievable outcome.

"Unite always has the welfare of its members as the top priority and we are continuing to support them in the days and weeks ahead."

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