Up to 375 jobs at risk at Bakkavör Bourne site

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Proposal, Redundancy

Up to 375 jobs at risk at Bakkavör Bourne site
Unions are urging Bakkavör to improve its redundancy package at Bourne Prepared Produce in Lincolnshire in order to encourage volunteers and avoid compulsory redundancies.

The site, which makes prepared vegetables, salads and fruits for the supermarkets, is a month into a 90-day consultation with staff that could see up to 375 staff - a third of the workforce - made redundant.

A company spokesman declined to comment on whether Bakkavör had lost a supermarket contract, but cited “difficult trading conditions…reduced sales volumes and higher raw material costs”​ for the proposed job cuts.

He added: “If the proposal goes ahead it may result in a proportion of this number​ [375 staff] being made redundant. This proposal also includes a review of wage structures and working practices.”

A “number of options” ​were under consideration in order to minimise job losses and ensure the long-term viability of the site, he added.

Wages fears

However, union bosses said they feared Bakkavör would exploit the uncertainty to try to force down wages and change terms and conditions for staff that did not take redundancy.

Unite regional officer Dave Roome said: "This community simply cannot absorb redundancies on this scale. Bakkavor is a major employer around here and it has a duty to behave responsibly to the people of Bourne."

Tense industrial relations

Bakkavör, which has also been engaged in a protracted dispute with staff at its pizza plant in Harrow, posted a 24.6% rise in earnings (before interest tax, depreciation and goodwill amortisation) to £135.1m on sales of £1.65bn in 2009.

Related topics: Chilled foods, Fresh produce

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