The Transport & General Workers' Union (T&G) has drawn up a cost savings package for the HP Sauce plant at Aston Cross, Birmingham, in a last-ditch attempt to persuade Heinz not to close it.
Produced jointly by T&G shop stewards and managers at the plant, the package involves efficiency measures and changes to shifts, as well as redundancies, said the T&G's acting national secretary for food John Jordan. "We hope Heinz doesn't throw sand in our face and dismiss the efforts that have been made."
The union was also looking at whether it could pursue a claim to get HP Sauce protected under the EU's protected names scheme.
Heinz claims that transferring production of HP Sauce from Aston Cross to Elst in the Netherlands, would save £15M over 10 years. If the closure goes ahead, Heinz will start transferring production this November, with the UK site closing in March.
Heinz employees are also still waiting to hear which four European factories will close as part of a global cost-saving initiative announced in early June. "We still haven't been told what their plans are," said the T&G.