Job losses pending at Hovis sites

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Job losses, Hovis, Premier foods

A still from an old Hovis advert
A still from an old Hovis advert
Premier Foods is consulting with 140 staff employed over the closure of its Hovis head office in Windsor, with some job losses possible, while further redundancies will occur at the division's Avonmouth bakery.

A company spokesman confirmed that the move from Hovis Court - first reported by our sister title British Baker - ​is scheduled to take place within six to nine months, as part of a long-term strategy to increase efficiency and cut costs.

FoodManufacture.co.uk understands that it is likely there will be some redundancies as a result, although they will be kept to a minimum.

Employees based at Windsor all work on the administrative side, in areas such as procurement, sales and marketing and human resources.

The spokesman said: “Premier Foods has announced plans to close its Hovis Court offices in Windsor and consolidate activities at other Premier Foods locations, primarily at its head office in St Albans and food technology centre at High Wycombe."

Automation at Avonmouth

The Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) warned in mid-February that a considerable number of workers at Hovis's bakery in Avonmouth could face redundancy as a result of plans to invest £6m in automating site processes.

Premier Foods is planning a “significant investment”​ in the future of the British Bakeries site – which employs around 300 staff – focused on the automation of site bakery processes with the aim of securing “better quality, reduced waste and improved customer service”.

But increased automation will mean job losses, BFAWU regional officer Dave Dash told FoodManufacture.co.uk, following the conclusion of a 90-day consultation with affected staff that began earlier this year.

Figure on job losses

Dash said he was meeting with company managers today, and would be pressing them to put a figure on job losses: “A lot of people have got to go, unfortunately,”​ he said.

“There will be a phased exit until the end of the year. But things are changing all the time, the number is less than what it was. Some staff have appealed, we also got the numbers down, while some have left of their own accord. There will be a big reduction though, which is a bit disappointing.

“But hopefully, a year from now new kit upgrades will be complete, people will be retrained and things will settle down once again,” ​he added.

Dash said that the BFAWU welcomed the new investment programme. "Hopefully, it's going to secure the long-term future of the site,"​ he said.

He added that the union was suppoting affected staff with courses and retraining, to help them find new careers.

Related topics: Bakery

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