Home > Uncategorized > Vion – Proof We Need A Fighting Leadership.

Vion – Proof We Need A Fighting Leadership.

There has been a huge decimation of Scottish food manufacturing this autumn, and Usdaw members have borne the brunt.

A Scottish USDAW member

Both the Halls of Broxburn factory in West Lothian and the Freshlink foods factory in Shettleston have closed with the loss of over 1,850 jobs within a matter of months.

On the 16th of October the news section of the USDAW website reported – ‘Usdaw bitterly disappointed as no credible buyers found for Hall’s’. The factory was closing after a 90 day consultation period between the parent company Vion, Usdaw and the Scottish government, sealing the fate of 1,700 manufacturing jobs.

What wasn’t reported was that during this 90 day process, the Area Organiser concerned wanted to take a delegation of workers over to the Netherlands to protest at Vion’s head office. This would have enabled these workers to have their demands heard by the remote management who are making decisions that are affecting thousands of members’ lives. The response from the bureaucrats at head office was that since Usdaw represents members in other subsidiaries of this company then they shouldn’t go over and rock the boat.

Then on 19th of November the same section of the website reported –

‘Dutch food manufacturer Vion has announced its intention to sell all of its UK food businesses, creating uncertainty for 13,000 employees who work at the company’s 38 UK sites.’

Now that Vion are withdrawing from the UK and there is no boat to rock, whoever held back these workers should hang their heads in shame. Members are being prevented from organising to protect their jobs in order to protect agreements with employers who are only interested in a subdued workforce. The whole approach under John Hannett, of protecting agreements and hoping things will get better under Labour is a dead end. We as members have to claim back our union from the bureaucracy, and demand that this whole fiasco be investigated and the facts be fully reported to the membership.

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