Union wants urgent Bakkavor talks over 300 job cuts

By Matt Atherton

- Last updated on GMT

Unite called for an urgent meeting with Bakkavor management
Unite called for an urgent meeting with Bakkavor management

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The Unite union has requested an urgent meeting with Bakkavor management after the manufacturer revealed plans to axe 300 jobs at Welcome Foods last week.

If implemented, the cuts would be a “heavy blow for the workforce, their families and the local Nottinghamshire economy”​, the union said.

The union claimed it would fight Bakkavor’s decision to axe about 300 jobs at Welcome Foods, to lessen its impact.

Unite regional officer Steve Syson said: “The union wants an urgent meeting with the management next week, with the aim of mitigating and reducing the large scale job losses.”

The union said the proposed cuts come at a difficult time for the workers, and the wider Nottinghamshire economy.

‘Fighting 100%’

“Unite will be fighting 100% to lessen the impact of this announcement,”​ said Syson. “We want to explore the business reasons for the planned closure during the 45-day consultation period and the opportunities for alternative employment within the group.”

The GMB union was also concerned by Bakkavor’s decision to cut 300 jobs. It claimed workers’ jobs were collateral damage caused the Brexit vote to leave the EU.

GMB national officer Eamon O’Hearn told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “GMB extends its support to the Unite members, their families and communities affected by the Welcome Foods announcement.Whilst GMB members are not affected directly, this announcement adds fuel to our concern at the state of the UK food and drink industry.

‘Race to the bottom’

“GMB reiterates its concern that despite government pledges, we are witnessing a ‘race to the bottom’ with UK workers bearing the brunt of post-Brexit pressures. This is not the hallmarks of a properly functioning industry with sustainable UK jobs at its heart.”

Almost 2,000 planned jobs cuts were announced in the UK food sector this year already, GMB said, with high-profile proposed job losses at Walkers, Bernard Matthews and now Bakkavor. The union said that didn’t take into account any job losses at Unilever, following its operating review​.

Ready meals specialist Bakkavor revealed plans to axe about 300 workers​ at its Welcome Foods ingredients plant on March 2. The facility had been hit by difficult trading conditions, and it had become a loss-making business, Bakkavor claimed.

Bakkavor planned job cuts – at a glance

  • Plans to close Welcome Foods plant
  • 300 jobs at risk
  • Bakkavor entered 45-day consultation period

Related topics People & Skills Chilled foods

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