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United Biscuits announces McVitie’s job losses

By Ben Bouckley , 21-Feb-2011
Last updated on 23-Feb-2011 at 13:59 GMT

United Biscuits (UB) has announced plans to shed around 85 jobs at its McVitie's biscuit factory in Glasgow, and has begun a consultation with staff and unions in a bid to ensure voluntary rather than compulsory redundancies.

A UB spokeswoman told FoodManufacture.co.uk that McVititie’s management at the Tollcross site – which currently employs 700 staff and makes products such as Go Ahead and Hobnobs – made the announcement to staff late last week, while assuring them that funds were available for “significant reinvestment” in the site, through infrastructure and employee facility upgrades.

“Under these proposals, this investment will safeguard the future of the site and the roles of the vast majority of employees. However, changes to headcount requirements on different shifts and some working practices may result in some redundancies,” she said.

Plans for new products and capability

Despite 93 roles being affected by the changes, the spokeswoman added that new job creation meant that the net reduction in staff numbers would be around 85.

She added: “This follows recent confirmation and communication of plans to invest in new products and production capability, as a key part of UB’s growth plans. This investment demonstrates UB’s commitment to Tollcross and to ensuring that the site can perform in a highly competitive marketplace.”

While UB regretted the need for redundancies, the spokeswoman said, the proposals would put the Tollcross site on a “much more competitive footing and help ensure the factory is well placed to win new business in the future”.

The GMB represent union members at the plant, and Scottish regional secretary Harry Donaldson said: "We will be meeting with McVitie's as soon as possible to see what can be done to safeguard employment for the future, in what is already an economically depressed part of Glasgow."

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