Below is an EDM on 2 Sisters Food Group and my question to the Prime Minister about the closure of Avana bakery.
“That this House notes with great concern the closure of Solway Foods' Corby site, owned by 2 Sisters Food Group, with the loss of approximately 900 jobs; regrets that management have referred to the site as unviable and refused to commit to the long-term future of the business in Corby, despite the council's offer of financial assistance with relocating to an upgraded facility elsewhere in the area; further notes that the redundancies follow on from around 2,400 redundancies at firms, including RF Brookes, Vion and Avana, forced to close within two years of their acquisition by 2 Sisters Food Group; believes that the company's owner and Chief Executive Mr Ranjit Singh Boparan appears deliberately to be undermining job security, pay and conditions of employees of the companies he has acquired; further notes that the overall turnover of 2 Sisters rose by 23 per cent last year to exceed £2.8 billion; and therefore supports members of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union in campaigning to defend their members and calls on management to enter meaningful negotiations to protect jobs in the industry.”
Paul Flynn (Newport West) (Lab): Some 2,400 jobs have been destroyed in Leicester and Corby, and last Friday 650 in Newport, by one single firm that specialises in cynically buying up firms, degrading the pay and conditions of staff and then abandoning them to unemployment. What protection will the Government give to those blameless, hard-working people who suffer from the scourge of that new vulture capitalism?
The Prime Minister: I am happy to look at the individual case that the hon. Gentleman raises, but—in terms of the job situation in the UK at present—in the last week we have had 8,000 jobs from Birmingham city airport, 12,000 jobs from Asda and more than 1,000 jobs from Vodafone. What we are seeing is businesses wanting to locate in Britain, take people on in Britain and grow in Britain, but if the hon. Gentleman has an example of bad practice, I am happy to look at it.