The company has written to trade union representatives to begin consultations on the proposed redundancies, FoodManufacture.co.uk can reveal.
All staff roles in the chilled factory operations of Gunstones Bakery could be lost, with 45% of staff across the site losing their jobs in total.
However, this number could be reduced by staff transferring to other roles according to the consultation letter sent by the manufacturer to unions, a source revealed to FoodManufacture.co.uk. The letter stated that redundancies could begin from February 25 2017.
In the document, Gunstones Bakery said employees willing to relocate within the group or work in different departments might not lose their jobs.
The company also said that the production of chilled filled rolls, sushi and garlic bread would move to another supplier in 2017, following the loss of contract with an unnamed major customer.
Production would cease from February 25
Production of sushi would therefore cease on February 25 2017. Chilled filled rolls production would finish on March 14 and garlic bread would end at an unconfirmed date next year.
A 2 Sisters Food Group spokesman said: “We announced to colleagues in June the loss of a filled rolls and sushi contract to another supplier. As this contract doesn’t end for another six months, this gives us time to put plans in place to mitigate this loss, and this continues.
“In addition, we have won a new five-year bakery contract since we announced the contract termination. It would be inappropriate to speculate at this time what the outcome will look like in March 2017.”
A union source involved with the ongoing consultations said the workforce had been briefed on the redundancy proposals. Representatives from the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Trade Union (BFAWTU) and Unite have had three consultations with Gunstones Bakery about the proposals, with the latest meeting earlier last week, the source revealed.
BFAWTU organising officer Jit Singh said: “At the minute, they’re looking at a worst case scenario of over 500 employees being made redundant.
“We’re trying to reduce the effect of redundancies the best we can. Trying to find people work in new areas, trying to get them retrained. Obviously it’s devastating news for the workers at Gunstones.”
The letter was said to be sent to representatives of the affected employees including BFAWTU and Unite on September 8. It also stated that employees that lost their jobs would receive statutory redundancy payment, said the source.
Meanwhile, 2 Sisters confirmed in July that its filled rolls and sushi products would move to another supplier next year. At the time, 2 Sisters said: “This will give the business time to explore new chilled business opportunities.”
Gunstones Bakery alleged proposed redundancies
- 370 chilled weekly-paid workers
- 12 despatch weekly-paid workers
- Four shift engineers
- Nine goods in and stores employees
- 96 hygiene staff
- 17 quality assurance staff
- 16 salaried staff
Source: Gunstones Bakery consultation letter sent to the unions.