McVitie’s Manchester: Union says plans to shed up to 159 jobs at factory ‘devastating’ for staff

Up to 140 jobs could be lost at the McVitie’s factory in Stockport (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)Up to 140 jobs could be lost at the McVitie’s factory in Stockport (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)
Up to 140 jobs could be lost at the McVitie’s factory in Stockport (Picture: AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images
A trade union has vowed to do whatever it can to protect as many jobs as possible.

A trade union has spoken out about “devastating” proposals to potentially cut up to 159 jobs at the McVitie’s biscuits factory in Greater Manchester.

Usdaw said on Tuesday (22 March) that plans had been made by pladis to shed up to a third of the workforce at the Stockport site.

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The union says it will now go into talks with the global snack and confectionary giant.

Pladis said it realised the news would be difficult for Manchester staff to take but promised a full consultation process with the employees.

It said a combination of increased costs and changes in consumer demand had led it to look at restructuring the business.

What has the union said?

Dave Gill, Usdaw national officer, said: “This is devastating news for our members, many of whom have given long service to the company and all worked throughout the pandemic when food manufacturing was identified as an essential service.

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“We will now enter into meaningful consultation talks with the company, where we will interrogate their business case for these proposed job losses. 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.”

What has the company said?

Pladis has said it is looking at restructuring the business in Manchester due to growing issues such as rising inflation, increasing energy costs and supply chain disruption pushing up production costs.

It said this was also happening at a time when the business faces a change in consumer demand.

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Pladis also said that while the Manchester factory was a critical part of its UK operations and produces well-known branded goods its operating model is no longer sustainable.

Nina Sparks, vice president of supply chain for pladis UK and Ireland, said: 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.”

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