Usdaw described the news as "absolutely disasterous” and claimed that the firm had given workers no prior warning that site was due to be closed.
Joanne Thomas, Usdaw’s North East divisional officer said: “This is absolutely disastrous news for everyone who works at Kerry Foods, for their families and for the whole community. Many of our members have worked at the site for years and a number even work alongside their parents or sons and daughters so any closure could destroy the incomes of entire families.”
“There has been no prior warning that closure was being considered, or even a suggestion that the future of the site could be in doubt, so our members are understandably extremely shocked, angry and distressed.”
Usdaw had also contacted local MP Roberta Blackman-Woods and MEP Stephen Hughes, who have both vowed to fight the closure and save the jobs, Thomas claimed.
The comments followed Kerry’s decision to close the factory in a bid to reduce costs and transfer all production to its other sites in the UK and Ireland.
Usdaw will now examine the firm’s case for closure and stressed that its “overriding objective” will be to keep the site open.
Kerry Foods was unavailable for comment at the time publication.