Bitter blow for local economy as Dawnfresh plant set to close in Uddingston

Workers at Uddingston’s Dawnfresh Seafoods have been dealt a bitter blow after learning that their factory which employees 230 permanent staff will close next year.

Dawnfresh plant Arbroath

The shock news was announced last week in a controversial public relations statement which suggested that jobs had actually been saved because workers could stay on the payroll if they were willing to relocate - to Arbroath!.Raleigh Salvesen who is the company’s managing director confirmed the closure then said: “For the remainder of this year and until the move next year, our operations at Uddingston will very much continue as normal. The plan to expand facilities at Arbroath will provide a platform for future growth and help Dawnfresh to adapt to a changing and highly competitive business sector. This move is critical if we are to meet our objective of keeping seafood production jobs in Scotland.

“It will be sad to close our factory in Uddingston but we are incentivising our team to join us on this journey.”

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However, these words were branded hollow by local politicians.

Steven Bonnar MP said: “Employees will see this as a mighty kick in the teeth by their employer. Dawnfresh owners must know well that asking employees who live in the environs of their current workplace to relocate to Arbroath is utterly impractical.”

MSP Stephanie Callaghan added: “I am very disappointed and would urge Dawnfresh to re-consider. For many who work locally, it will not be possible to move their families 100 miles away from the place they call home.”

Green MSP Gillian Mackay added: “My team attended a briefing with Dawnfresh last week and we will be in contact with the trade union to offer our support throughout. I have raised the matter with the Scottish Government asking ministers to engage and support the workforce at this difficult time.”

Councillor Kenny McCreary added: “I am extremely concerned that so many jobs are potentially being lost at Dawnfresh, a major employer with my Ward and I have asked for an urgent one-to one meeting with the Management. I also intend to Contact the CEO of South Lanarkshire Council to ensure that the council takes all necessary steps to support those at risk at this worrying time.”