Wiseman mulling closure of Keith and Whitburn depots

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Dairy firm Muller Wiseman is considering the closure of its depots in Keith and Whitburn, putting more than 140 jobs at risk.

The company said the move was being driven by changing customer needs, and some staff would be offered the chance to transfer to other depots.

Managing director Carl Ravenhall said: “We must adapt to changes in the requirements being made of us by customers, with larger volumes of milk increasingly being delivered to regional distribution centres instead of individual stores.”

The firm has started a 45-day consultation process with employees and the Usdaw union over the planned closures, which would affect 25 posts at Keith and 116 jobs at Whitburn. It said that, in the event of closures, some workers may be able to move to its depots in Aberdeen and Cambuslang, where up to 103 posts could be created.

A further 15 administrative and management roles are “under review” elsewhere in the company.

Muller Wiseman was created last year when Glasgow-based Robert Wiseman Dairies agreed to a £279.5 million takeover offer from Germany’s Muller.

Usdaw national officer John Gorle said the union was “shocked” by the planned closures.

He added: “We’ll be busy during the next few weeks talking to our reps and members on site to go through the company’s plans and to consider the best way forward.

“These are uncertain times in the sector as companies reorganise their manufacturing and distribution networks but Usdaw will be doing all it can to protect jobs and represent the workforce.”