The improvements at the Macrae Foods site in Livingston were made to drive productivity and create capacity, according to Young’s chief executive Bill Showalter.
“The delivery of these improvements in productivity now require the company to review its present manpower needs, and the company is now proposing to restructure its shift patterns and reduce its headcount at the site by approximately 50 roles,” said Showalter.
Young’s has proposed a move from the current two-shift structure at the site to one shift and has begun a consultation process with its employees.
“We remain committed to the long-term success of our Livingston site and this announcement does not in any way reflect on the hard work of our skilled teams, who consistently deliver excellent service for our customers,” Showalter added.
Angela Constance, MSP for Almond Valley, said the news of the possible job losses was disappointing and devastating for West Lothian and that she had already spoken to Young’s.
“I have written this afternoon to both the cabinet secretary for food and drink, Fergus Ewing, and to the minister for business, Jamie Hepburn, calling on them to urgently make direct contact with Macrae in Livingston to provide as much assistance as possible,” Constance told the local press.
“While the company has assured me of their long-term commitment to Livingston and that the job losses are not due to any loss of business, but an investment in new machinery that has increased productivity, it is nonetheless very regrettable that 50 jobs are at risk.”
Meanwhile, more than 600 jobs are to be lost with the closure of desserts manufacturer Kensey Foods in Launceston, Cornwall.
The plant, which produces premium dessert products, is set to close in July due to its loss-making status over the past six years, running into losses of “tens of millions of pounds”.