Up to 250 jobs are set to be axed by August this year, causing a “massive blow” to the regional economy, according to Unite the Union.
“It will cause real economic pain,” said Unite regional officer Rick Coyle. “Nationally, we are pressing for an urgent meeting with the parent company, 2 Sisters Food Group.
“We are having our first meeting with the shop stewards and management on Friday (22 March) where we will digest the full implications of this announcement. It is not possible to comment more fully until we have studied the business case in detail.”
Supporting its members
Unite said it would be providing support for its members affected by the planned job cuts in the days and weeks ahead.
2 Sisters said the job cuts were part of a major investment plan to promote growth and commercial opportunities for Fox’s, including a review of its manufacturing capabilities.
A 2 Sisters’ spokesman said: “Regrettably, our loss-making site in Uttoxeter requires urgent attention and biscuit production lines need reconfiguring to ensure it has a longer-term, viable future. This means we will be entering into consultation with our colleagues around proposals to restructure the site.”
Distribution centre jobs
“Additionally, a smaller number of colleagues, around 50, at our Uttoxeter and Wakefield distribution centres will also enter into consultation as we explore proposals to out-source this warehousing work.”
The manufacturer said it would hold discussions with all affected employees and their representatives in order to explore all possible options before coming to any decisions.
Meanwhile, last week, 2 Sisters’ parent company Boparan Holdings completed the sale of its Green Isle and Donegal Catch frozen food businesses.
The frozen food businesses were acquired by a group led by former Largo Foods chief executive Maurice Hickey and backed by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.