Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

265 Food Factory Workers at Risk of Losing Their Jobs

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

265 Food Factory Workers at Risk of Losing Their Jobs

Article excerpt

Byline: Brian Daniel Northumberland reporter brian.daniel@ncjmedia.co.uk

ANORTHUMBERLAND food factory has been earmarked for closure with the potential loss of 265 jobs.

General Mills, makers of dough products including Jus-Rol pastry, has announced plans to close its site at Berwick.

The company says the decision follows a review of its manufacturing and distribution network in European and Australasia, which revealed a need to address excess capacity in its UK baking business.

It says the site could shut its doors by autumn 2016.

Consultation is now to take place with union officials and employee representatives. A statement issued by the company, whose brands also include Old El Paso and Haagen-Dazs ice cream, said: "General Mills today announced a proposal which could lead to the closure of its manufacturing facility in Berwick.

"The proposal is subject to consultation with union officials and employee representatives, which could lead to the closure of the site by the autumn of 2016.

"If implemented, closure of the site would affect approximately 265 employees.

"The Berwick facility manufactures baking mixes and refrigerated and frozen dough products. It has been operated by General Mills since 2001." A spokeswoman added: "We are making this proposal after carrying out a review of our manufacturing and distribution network in the European and Australasia region, with the goal of streamlining operations and identifying potential capacity reductions.

The review revealed that we needed to address excess capacity in our UK baking business by consolidating manufacturing production within the General Mills supply chain network." The Edinburgh office of trade union USDAW represents 163 of the workers at the site.

Its area organiser Rab Donnelly, said: "Obviously this is a devastating blow to our members, their families and the local economy. …

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