THE announcement that 140 staff could go at Kellogg’s has been labelled ‘a kick in the teeth’.
The firm has announced the start of a 90-day consultation with employees at its factory on Wrexham’s Industrial Estate.
The company says it wants to streamline production at the site and revealed hopes that the job losses can be achieved through early retirement and voluntary redundancies.
The figure represents nearly 25 per cent of Wrexham’s Kellogg’s workforce and Ian Lucas MP has branded the move as ‘a big blow’.
Peter Hughes, of workers union Unite said: “News that Kellogg’s are looking to make 140 people redundant comes as real kick in the teeth to the workforce.
“Any potential job losses are, of course, bad news for those involved but also for the wider community and economy in north east Wales.”
He said Unite will now fight to mitigate the number of redundancies on behalf of its members.
The decision comes hot on the heels of previous announcements by two of Wrexham’s other major employers, that will see 250 workers and 365 agency staff axed from the Sharp factory in Llay while 230 jobs are to go at the First Milk cheese packing plant in Marchwiel.
Mr Lucas, MP for Wrexham since 2001 said: “We have a proud record of having very important international companies based in the town but they are operating in an increasingly competitive market and it has been a very difficult time.
“There is talk of some economic recovery but it doesn’t feel that way in Wrexham at the moment.
“It is a big blow.”
The Kellogg’s decision comes in the wake of the company’s recently announced Project K global growth and efficiency programme.
Chris Hood, president of Kellogg Europe said: “We have a compelling business need to better align our assets with marketplace trends and customer requirements.
“To that end, we are taking action to ensure our manufacturing network is operating the right number of plants and production lines – in the right locations – to better meet current and future production needs and the evolving needs of our customers.”
Dave Gill, Usdaw’s national officer representing Kellogg’s workers, described the news as “saddening” and said: “Our priority will be to save jobs, maximise employment on the site and ensure that if any staff have to leave they do so on a voluntary or early retirement basis.”
One worker who didn’t wish to be named said: “You don’t know what is around the corner.”