Jobs safe as collection is called off

Grampian firefighters struggle to contain the blaze at the North Bay Pelagic factory in Peterhead
Grampian firefighters struggle to contain the blaze at the North Bay Pelagic factory in Peterhead

A proposed food collection in aid of those workers affected by the devastating fire at North Bay Pelagic earlier this month, was called off at the weekend.

The Joseph Storehouse and Morrisons in Peterhead were due to hold a special food collection to help those who lost their jobs in the blaze, which destroyed a major section of the factory on January 17.

However, company bosses have since assured staff that their jobs are safe, removing the need for the one-off collection.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Aberdeenshire Council confirmed employees of Northbay Pelagic were to undertake alternative duties while plans to rebuild the factory are progressed.

The council said company officials had met with staff on Monday (January 26), to outline the temporary arrangements that will allow their employment to continue uninterrupted over the coming months.

Under the plans, some production staff are to be redeployed to other local processors while the factory is rebuilt but will remain contracted to Northbay Pelagic throughout. In the meantime, the company is despatching some fish from its cold store to customers.

Northbay Pelagic director Chris Anderson commented: “We knew our staff were concerned about their jobs and we have worked extremely hard in the last week to find a solution that means everyone retains their employment.“

Welcoming the news, leader of Aberdeenshire Council Jim Gifford said: “These arrangements will bring comfort to Northbay Pelagic’s employees, who I’m sure were worried about what the impact of the blaze would have on their jobs.

“This has been made possible through the goodwill of local processors and support from a number of other agencies, including the council, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government over the last few days.”

A joint investigation into the fire by Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue, is still ongoing.