Greencore factory closure to axe 400 jobs

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Greencore has confirmed the closure of its Somerset factory, with plans to cut 400 jobs
Greencore has confirmed the closure of its Somerset factory, with plans to cut 400 jobs

Related tags Layoff Glaxosmithkline

Up to 400 jobs are to go at chilled foods manufacturer Greencore’s Evercreech factory in Somerset, after the company announced the final closure date for the site.

The decision came after a 45-day consultation period between Greencore and representatives of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) over a redundancy package for staff.

Greencore, which manufactures desserts for Marks & Spencer, originally announced plans to close  Evercreech in May. Production at the factory will be wound down in two phases next year, according to Usdaw.

Usdaw area organiser Ron Hemming confirmed this week (July 26) that the planned closure would go ahead.

‘Best possible severance package’

“It is with great regret that following extensive consultation, Greencore has had to confirm the closure of its Evercreech facility,”​ said Hemming. “We are continuing in talks with the company to try and get the best possible severance package for our members.

“Our priority is to get the best possible deal for Usdaw’s members in these terrible circumstances. The company have also confirmed that they are planning to phase out the operation over two periods in April and October 2018.”

A Greencore spokesman said the company had been unable to find ways of avoiding or reducing the potential redundancies caused by the closure of the site.

“This has come about because there are no financially sustainable solutions to repair or replace the current facility, which is now 126 years old and in need of significant refurbishment,”​ said the spokesman.

“Greencore is committed to doing everything that it can to support its colleagues at the site during this difficult time.”

Main provider of jobs in the area

The company is the main provider of jobs in the area and the closure of the site would have a knock-on effect for other businesses in the area, claimed Hemming.

This week also saw Greencore post its third quarter results. The company recorded sales of £636.5M in the 13 weeks to June 30 2017, a 76.6% growth from the same time last year.

Meanwhile, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) plans to sell its UK malted milk drink brand, Horlicks, and to close its Slough factory, putting 73 jobs at risk.

GSK revealed plans to close the factory last week (July 19) in a bid to “improve the efficiency and competitiveness of its manufacturing network”.

Related topics People & Skills Chilled foods

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