The ready meals manufacturer is to enter into consultation with employees over a proposed transfer of a number of products from the Flint site at Aber Park Industrial Estate to its other site in Wrexham.
Employees unable to make the commute to Wrexham are now at risk of redundancy over the next five months. The consultation will begin early this month (April) and will last for a minimum of the 45 days, after which a final decision on the future size of Oscar Mayer in Flint will be made.
Fallen short of expectations
Oscar Mayer blamed a failure to return to the levels of pre-pandemic sales since lockdowns were eased as a major contributor in its decision to downsize the site. Sales for the manufacturer have also fallen short by more than 10% over the past few months, with little sign of changing in the near to medium-term.
Increases in the cost of production due to unprecedented inflation, coupled with the broader cost of living crisis across the UK, have also had a noticeable impact on demand across the ready meals market.
Peter Thornton, executive chairman of Oscar Mayer said: “Consulting our colleagues on a potential transfer of production and jobs has been a desperately difficult decision to reach. Oscar Mayer fully recognises its responsibility to the local community and sincerely regrets the distress and disappointment this move may cause.
No reflection on talent
“This downsizing, should it occur, is no reflection on the talent and capability of our dedicated staff, who have worked exceptionally hard to help us increase efficiency, for which we remain extremely grateful.
“I only hope it’s of some reassurance that every measure will be taken to assist our colleagues in their search for meaningful alternative employment, should they find themselves unable to commute to Wrexham. Until any decision is finalised, we are determined to continue to provide the highest standard of production to meet our valued customers’ demands.”
The Flint site was acquired by the Oscar Mayer Group in 2020 and is smallest of Oscar Mayer’s manufacturing units. In 2021 Oscar Mayer closed its production units in Chard, Somerset and transferred production to Wrexham and Flint in North Wales, and Erith in Dartford.