Liverpool Spam factory to close

Posted on 7 Jan 2009 by The Manufacturer

The owners of a meat processing factory on Merseyside have today announced proposals to close the plant down, incurring the loss of 303 jobs.

The Danish owned Tulip International, whose brands include Danepak, Stagg chilli and Spam, say they will move production away from Bromborough on the Wirral, Liverpool, to other sites in Kings Lynn, Norfolk and Boston, Lincolnshire in a bid to cut costs.

Workers were reportedly informed of the decision in the canteen this afternoon.

Ken Wallace, a spokesman for Tulip in the UK, said: “As a business we have to be the lowest cost provider.

“Due to over capacity in the food sector, combining with the economic climate, we’ve had to review the business.

“As a responsible employer we have to safeguard as many jobs as possible and have decided there is not a viable future for the factory.

“Having said that, we will look at any alternatives to the closure and are consulting with anyone who has been impacted by it.”

The announcement has been met with a hostile reception by the union Unite which represents workers at the factory. Unite officer Franny Joyce said: “We will not take Tulip’s plans to close this site lying down. We owe it to our members and their families, who are angry, bitter and devastated, to do everything in our power to fight these proposals.

“Unite is seeking clarity on the rationale behind this decision, and an explanation as to why this factory is being closed down.

“Only two years ago this loyal workforce implemented new shift patterns that dramatically reduced costs and increased efficiency at Bromborough. This followed a successful campaign ten years ago to relocate to this purpose built facility to avoid complete withdrawal from the Wirral. Yet at the first sign of trouble during these difficult times the company decides to pay back its loyal workforce with closure.”

The company has operated from the site in Bromborough for ten years since they sought government funding to move there from another nearby location.