08:00 Tuesday 05 March 2013

Forced to go

Written byBY ROB SMYTH

FORTY-FIVE workers at a major employer in Burton will be axed from their roles by the end of the week after an appeal for voluntary redundancies failed.

Bosses at Kerry Foods, in Mosley Street, revealed that despite ‘positive’ discussions with employees and union representatives, it was going to have to implement a compulsory redundancies plan because only 50 of the 95 required came forward.

The firm revealed talks were at a ‘critical’ stage and it was expected that all staff set to lose their jobs would be identified before the end of the week.

Frank Hayes (pictured inset), director of corporate affairs for the Irish chilled food manufacturer, said: “I can confirm that after a consultation that began in January, only 50 of the required 95 volunteer redundancies have been found.

“Unfortunately this means that we have had to begin to select 45 people for compulsory redundancy.

“We have been consulting staff and union officials on this matter and, although we don’t have a set deadline, we expect to know the identity of the entire list of 95 by the end of this week.”

The jobs losses were announced to shocked staff in January after the company revealed exclusively to the Mail that its profits had taken a hit due to cost increases and excessive competition within the food industry.

Mr Hayes added: “We employed 80 new staff members last year, which brought the total at the site 1,086.

“The jobs losses will bring us down to our natural figure at the site. It is regrettable that we have had to go down the route of compulsory redundancies.”

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