Unite, the country’s largest union, pledged today (Friday 19 August) ‘to leave no stone unturned’ to save the 325 jobs under threat at The Pizza Factory in Nottingham.
Unite held lunchtime talks today with the long-established East Midlands company, owned by food giant 2 Sisters, when management revealed that there would be no job losses before January 2017 when the Tesco contract to supply ready-made chilled pizzas comes to an end.
The job losses could see up to 325 production staff jobs cut. The total workforce is 688 weekly paid staff and 93 monthly, with an average of 310 agency staff employed each week.
The company also announced that it wanted to discuss changes to shift patterns, and also changes to terms and conditions.
The union said that it now had a ‘breathing space’ to consider how to respond to the management’s briefing before the next meeting with the company, scheduled for 20 September.
Unite regional officer Andy Shaw said: “We now have a clearer picture of the company’s thinking. We are at the start of the 45-day consultation period and we will leave no stone unturned to mitigate the threat to these jobs.
“There will be no redundancies before the company ‘exits’ the Tesco contract in January 2017.
“We now have breathing space to consider our approach to voluntary redundancies and the criteria that may be used in any redundancy programme before we meet management again on 20 September.
“The bottom line is that Unite is committed to avoiding compulsory job losses and we will be actively exploring avenues, such as redeployment and voluntary redundancy.
“One thorny area that we will be contesting is that we believe that an enhanced redundancy package is in place with The Pizza Factory, although the company says that it intends only to pay the statutory minimum which we consider to be totally unacceptable.”
The union has also lodged a three per cent pay claim for the pay year August 2016 – August 2017 for the employees, making the points that the company will have a reduced workforce from January and it is also part of the very profitable 2 Sisters group, so could well-afford such a pay rise for staff.
Andy Shaw added: “The union is giving all possible support to our members at this difficult time for them.”
Unite has more than 450 members at The Pizza Factory.
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.