160 jobs under threat at McVities

NEARLY 160 jobs are under threat at United Biscuits’ McVities factory in south Manchester.

It is proposing to cut 157 of the 630-strong workforce, or 25%, at the factory in Stockport Road, Levenshulme.

United has several factories and bases in the North West including a group business service centre in Liverpool, a Jacobs bakery in Aintree, and a Jaffa Cakes bakery on Crossley Road, Manchester. The McVities factory is the only site subject to cuts.

A spokesman said: “United Biscuits announced in early June proposals to restructure our manufacturing operations at our Manchester site. This was part of our ongoing commitment to deliver modern, efficient and competitive operations at the site.

“Discussions have been held with employees and union representatives, regarding the potential impact to roles at the site and we are still in consultation. The proposed restructure will result in the potential loss of up to 157 roles from a total workforce of around 630 employees. These proposals are not put forward lightly and wherever possible we will look to minimise the impact of the proposed restructure for employees.”

The company is now consulting with staff and the USDAW and Unite unions.

Dave Gill, Usdaw national officer, said: “We are currently in consultations with the management of United Biscuits over their proposals to restructure the business, which could lead to job losses at the Manchester site. Our priorities are to provide support and representation for our members, maximise employment and ensure that any loss of jobs is done on a voluntary basis.”

United Biscuits, which has annual sales of around £1.3bn, is owned by private equity owners Blackstone Group and PAI Partners who are said to be looking for an exit. They have considered a stock market flotation or a trade sale and last month Kellogg’s was linked to a deal.