The review comprised Aberdeen’s distribution, garage, tanker and retail operations and will now be the subject of a 30-day collective consultation process.
Müller proposed to relocate operations to existing sites in central Scotland which were closer to customer regional distribution centres. While the move would create 22 jobs, existing jobs at the depot are to be affected.
Kate Cumming, area organiser for the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) that the union’s members working at the depot had been devastated by the news.
“We will now enter into meaningful consultations with the company to interrogate the business case for this proposal,” she added. “In the meantime, we are providing our members with the support, advice and representation they need at this very difficult time.”
Müller Milk & Ingredients chief executive Ian Smith said that the consultation was part of the company’s Project Darwin transformation programme. Launched in February this year, the £100m programme was designed to secure a “sustainable future for the business”.
“We’re facing into the reality of a decline in fresh milk consumption and significant changes in retailing,” said Smith. “The volume going through our Aberdeen site has been severely impacted, and with the majority of our customers distribution operations now located in central Scotland, we need to take action.
“We are ready to consult to ensure that our operational capabilities meet the requirements of all of our customers both now and in the future and we will work hard with our employees and their representatives over the next 30 days to find the right solutions.”
While the consultation’s outcome will not be determined until the review is completed, the company stressed that – in the event that a decision is taken to proceed with the proposal – affected employees would be offered opportunities to relocate or will be supported should that not be possible.
Meanwhile, jobs are at risk at potato processor Swancote Foods after it announced it has entered a 30-day consultation period with its employees regarding the potential closure of its sole site in Telford.