Sale of Bernard Matthews is given cautious welcome by Unite

Sale of Bernard Matthews is given cautious welcome by Unite

20 September 2016

The announcement that turkey producers Bernard Matthews has now been sold to the 2 Sisters Food Group has been given a cautious welcome by Unite, the country’s largest union, tonight (Tuesday 20 September).

The union said that the sale looks like it will secure the jobs of the 2,000 workers employed by the firm in Norfolk and Suffolk, but it is seeking clarification on future employment, pay, and terms and conditions under the new ownership.

Unite is due to meet the management team at Bernard Matthews’ headquarters at Great Witchingham, Norfolk at 10.00 tomorrow (Wednesday 21 September).

Unite regional officer Steve Harley said: “The announcement that Bernard Matthews has been sold by its owners Rutland Partners to the 2 Sisters Food Group appears to be good news for the 2,000-strong workforce. We are giving the news a cautious welcome.

“However, in takeover situations, there are always matters that need to be clarified. Unite is meeting the company tomorrow where searching questions will be asked on future employment, pay, and terms and conditions.

“We will also be asking about the status of the pension scheme under the new owners, although it is expected that our members won’t be affected in this respect by today’s takeover.
“Bernard Matthews is a major employer in East Anglia and the union wants to work constructively with the new ownership to ensure the continuing success of this iconic company.”

Unite represents about 800 of the 2,000-strong workforce at the producing sites at Great Witchingham and Holton in Suffolk, as well as the animal food mill at Bawsey, near King’s Lynn.

There was speculation over the future of Bernard Matthews over the summer after Rutland Partners appointed PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to look for possible buyers.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940.


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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.