While the exact details of the proposal were not shared, Pladis said it would seek to address growing external headwinds such as rising inflation, increasing energy costs and supply chain disruption pushing up production costs.
The biscuit manufacture said the Manchester plant was still a critical part of its operations in the UK, but the operating model was no longer sustainable and had to be addressed as part of the proposed changes.
Guidance for employees
Nina Sparks, Pladis UK & Ireland vice president of supply chain, added: “We understand this news will be very difficult for those in Manchester. Our Manchester factory remains an important part of our UK business and our priority now is to provide our colleagues with clear guidance and the right support as we start the proposed consultation process.
“Pladis is the proud custodian of some of the world’s best-loved snacking brands and we believe strongly in their enduring consumer appeal. But, like many other businesses, we are grappling with new and growing external pressures. We must, therefore, review and consider appropriate steps to safeguard the future of our whole business.”
The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers national officer Dave Gill said the proposals were devastating for its members, who had been deemed essential workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will now enter into meaningful consultation talks with the company, where we will interrogate their business case for these proposed job losses,” said Gill. “Our priorities are to keep as many staff employed within the business as possible and avoid compulsory redundancies.
“In the meantime we are providing our members with the support, advice and representation they need at this difficult time.”
Proposals to restructure the Stockport site followed the confirmation of Pladis’s intention to close its Tollcross factory in Glasgow, hitting 468 jobs.
In a statement, Pladis said it had carefully reviewed alternative proposals put forward as part of the ongoing consultation with employees and their representatives. However, it said none of these options had presented a viable substitute for the original proposal.