Flintshire food firm cannot comment on staff job fears

Reporter:

Lois Hough

FACTORY bosses say they cannot comment on staff fears over job losses.

The Leader has received calls from worried staff at Headland Foods Ltd, Flint, who say redundancies are imminent once a 90-day consultation period to decide the future of the Castle Park plant ends on February 13.

But a spokesman for the factory said they could not confirm if there would be any redundancies as the consultation was ongoing.

Yesterday a spokesman for the factory could neither confirm nor deny that redundancies would be made.

She said: “The 90-day consultation period is still ongoing and will not finish until February 13. We cannot say for definite if there will be redundancies.”

Frank Hayes, director of corporate affairs at Kerry Group said: “The consultation on redundancy is continuing, the situation has not changed.”

One worker, who did not want to be named, claimed workers will be issued with redundancy notices.

He claimed staff received the news on Friday when it was announced the firm had been taken over by Irish food firm Kerry Group.

He said: " We are all devastated. We are very angry. The majority of workers live in the Flint and Deeside area. There are going to be a lot of people going on the dole.”
The worker said bosses told staff they need to work a full 12 weeks notice to get their redundancy money, even if they find new employment in the meantime.

He added: “If I got another job I would have to think about it. It is very tough out there.”

The factory, which opened in 1991, is understood to employ about 340 people at the site.

The company produces more than two million ready meals a week across its two factories in Flint and Grimsby, Lincolnshire.

Delyn MP David Hanson said: “I am extremely concerned about the potential job losses in Flint. The workforce has been very loyal to the company and has helped the company to grow and they deserve to be treated with respect.

“There is still time for the company to confirm the future of Flint. If they fail to do so then the worksforce could be given proper redundancy terms.”

Flint councillor Ian Roberts is calling on Flintshire Council and the Assembly Government to support those workers who could be facing the axe.

He said: “This is a huge blow not only for Flint but for the whole area.
“My sympathies go to everyone who is facing this awful situation. I would hope everyone affected is given a package of support from the local authority to help them find new work locally.” 

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