Urgent talks with Premier Foods’ management have been called for, as the troubled food giant announced a ‘devastating’ 900 job losses at its bread division.
Unite, the country’s largest union, is joining with BFAWU, the majority union on the affected sites, in calling for urgent talks about the job losses. Unite has more than 2,500 members across all divisions of Premier Foods.
Unite national officer for food and drink, Jennie Formby, said: “The joint trade unions are calling for an urgent national meeting with Premier Foods’ management to discuss the implications of today’s announcement which is a devastating blow for the 900 workers, their families and the local communities in west London and Birmingham.”
The bakeries due to close sometime in 2013 are at Greenford, in west London and Birmingham. The firm is also simplifying its bread distribution network by cutting about 130 routes.
Jennie Formby added: “This is just another stage in the disaster story that has been Premier Foods over recent years, which has consistently struggled ever since its decision to buy Hovis in 2006.
“At the time, this strategy was described as ‘doomed’ by some analysts and it has resulted in the company being saddled with massive debts.
“Management claims the job losses are as a result of ‘competition and wheat prices’, but the reality is that our members are continuing to pay the heavy price of Premier’s failure to make a success of the business and we remain extremely concerned about the future of the remaining business.”
For further information please contact Jennie Formby on 07702 206 436 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.