Union attacks loss of 166 jobs at United Biscuits

UB products include Jaffa Cakes and chocolate digestives. Picture: Getty

UB products include Jaffa Cakes and chocolate digestives. Picture: Getty

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A GLASGOW biscuit factory that employs about 680 people has announced plans to slash its workforce by almost a quarter.

United Biscuits said 202 jobs are at risk from a restructuring at the McVitie’s factory in Tollcross, although some workers will be able to reapply for 36 new position, leaving a net reduction of 166 workers.

The GMB union said the announcement has come at the worst time for workers in the run-up to Christmas.

A United Biscuits spokesman said the firm, which was acquired by Turkish food and drinks group Yildiz for £2 billion earlier this month, was planning to “restructure working practices and manufacturing operations at our Tollcross site”.

He added: “This is part of our ongoing commitment to deliver a modern, efficient and competitive operation, and without these changes Tollcross will not have a sustainable future in the local community. We are now discussing the proposal with employees, employee representatives and local government.

“We have been working with Scottish Enterprise and appreciate their support that has enabled us to safeguard jobs.

“However, regrettably, we do anticipate redundancies through this process and are committed to working with all parties to minimise the impact.

“Individuals who may be impacted will be able to benefit from the PACE outplacement programme.”

The spokesman continued: “These major changes unfortunately mean redundancies and 202 jobs are at risk, out of circa 680 roles on site.

“However, it also means some new opportunities will be unlocked with the creation of 36 new roles and also the introduction of 19 up-skilled operator positions available. This would mean an overall headcount reduction of 166 jobs.”

Harry Donaldson, regional secretary of GMB Scotland, said: “Murat Ulker, who took over the McVitie’s factory in Glasgow earlier this month, told the 700 workers that there will be 202 job losses. This has come at the worst time of year in the run-up to Christmas”.

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