Tom Keighley

Member Article

Norfolk seafood supplier makes redundancies

Workers at the Cromer Crab Company are bracing themselves for redundancy in the New Year, as parent company Young’s announce 70 staff are to go.

Staff are set to receive notices this week, as the earliest redundancies start in January.

Bosses at the company say the decision was not taken lightly, and that the outcome did not reflect on the skilled workforce at Cromer.

A consultation process had ran since September, looking at a number of options and proposals for the site.

These included an alternative model put together by the Joint Consultative Group, which would involve drawing more crab processing volume to the site.

Pete Ward, Chief Operating Officer of Young’s Seafood Limited, said: “At this stage in the process it has become clear that, given the tough macroeconomic environment we are operating in, none of the potential options would be sustainable with the current number of employees at the Cromer Crab Company.

“As none of the potential options, including any future sale or, indeed, the alternative model - would secure all the jobs at the Cromer Crab Company we now feel we have to begin to issue notice to some of our staff members at the site.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly and we recognise the importance of handling this process carefully and sensitively with our team members.

“This is about ensuring that, in the tough new economic reality we all face, our business is sustainable for the long-term.

“I’d also like to stress that the 90 day consultation period continues and that we are working hard to pursue potential options including the possibility of an interested buyer for the site and ways to draw more volume into the factory. “

As one of the biggest employers in the town, the redundancies are set to have an immense effect on the local economy.

Unite regional officer, Ivan Crane, said: “Just weeks away from Christmas, these letters sent out to staff telling them that they will shortly be made redundant is nothing short of disgraceful. Our members are infuriated that even before the consultation period had finished, management has decided what will happen.

“The proposed closure, of one of the towns’ biggest employers will have a profound effect on local community, the surrounding district and has left this committed and loyal workforce feeling as though they are being abandoned.

“We continue to urge management to rethink the move as its success and growth has been built around a product that is part of the heritage of Cromer.

“We believe the company has an obligation to this town and that the Cromer Crab Company should remain in Cromer.”

Only recently Young’s parent company, Lion Capital, acquired struggling seafood supplier Cumbrian Seafoods.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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