More than 900 jobs are under threat at two seafood factories in the north of Scotland.
Young’s Seafood has announced restructuring proposals which it said are likely to result in the closure of its Fraserburgh and Spey Valley sites in or after November.
The company has lost a major contract to supply salmon to supermarket chain Sainsbury’s.
It said the loss of business will leave the two Scottish sites “significantly under-utilised”, and it is proposing moving any remaining work to its other manufacturing sites in Grimsby, Livingston and Annan.
The company will shortly begin formal consultation on the move with staff and their representatives.
While the closures would result in the loss of 900 jobs, around 200 positions could be transferred to or created across its remaining three sites, the firm said.
Chief executive Pete Ward said: “Today’s announcement does not reflect on the skilled teams at Young’s Fraserburgh and Spey Valley, who are committed, dedicated and continue to work hard through this time.
“This process will not be easy, but we have to face some tough decisions and we believe the proposals, outlined today, could deliver a significantly more sustainable manufacturing footprint than other potential consolidation options.
“As we move forward, we continue to be focused on providing our customers and consumers with high quality, good value, fish and seafood and we will talk, in detail, with employees about options for the future.”
Trade union Unite, which represents staff at Grimsby’s three Young’s Seafood factories, welcomed plans to move more business to the Lincolnshire town.
Regional officer Dave Monaghan said: “The decision by Young’s to invest in Grimsby and secure over 500 jobs is welcome news and testament to the skills of the workers at the town’s Marsden Road site.
“Young’s is a major employer in Grimsby and workers, local businesses and the community will be relieved that the company will continue to invest in the town. The closure of the Marsden Road plant in Grimsby would have been devastating to the local economy.
“There is a bitter sweet edge to the announcement though, because it sees uncertainty for workers in other parts of the UK.
“We hope Young’s will do everything it can to minimise any job losses at sites threatened with closure.”