Hall’s reaction: ‘You can get three generations from same family here’
silence fell on the West Lothian town of Broxburn as news of the likely closure reached workers and locals.
As streams of workers trickled in and out of the 15-acre Hall’s site situated in the heart of the town, many were holding back tears and were visibly shaken by the announcement.
Local residents and workers alike told how many members of the same families worked at the plant – which proudly displays the sign “Hall’s Made for Scotland” at its entrance.
Esther Stewart, a general operator at the factory, said she worked alongside her sister, brother-in-law and niece. The mother-of-one said: “We are not the exception, more the norm. Loads of folk from the same families work here. You can get three generations.
“Just think how something like this will hit us. Just like that you could have a few folk from the same family out of work, no money coming in, no job prospects.”
About half of the workforce is made up of people who have moved to Scotland from Poland to make a better life for themselves.
Polish worker Jwona Delegacz, 20, said: “Many Poles work here and we have no idea what we will do now. We have three months and then we have no job, nothing. There are no other jobs. It will ruin many lives.”
And her colleague Grazyna Mackowiak, 52, said: “This was a good place to work, good money too. Now our futures look terrible.”
Local man James Grant, 73, said the brand Hall’s was synonymous with Scotland. He believes the imminent closure reflects the on-going financial crisis. He said: “There are loads of shops here which have already closed. Things are already on the way down. Now this. It is just terrible. Hall’s is a name you see everywhere in the shops, it is part of Scotland.
“What now for the country if a business as big as this can’t survive? This is not just bad for Broxburn but for Scotland.”
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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