McVitie’s factory set to cut a third of jobs – 159 people to go at century-old base

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Up to 159 of 470 roles at the site in Stockport will be lost as part of a restructure brought on by increasing costs, rising energy bills and soaring inflation. Parent company pladis, which bought McVitie’s owner United Biscuits in 2014, said the industry faced “new and growing external pressures”.

The factory in Greater Manchester makes two billion Jaffa Cakes a year and union Usdaw said staff were “devastated”.

Nina Sparks, vice president of supply chain for pladis UK and Ireland, said: “We understand this news will be very difficult for those in Manchester. Our priority now is to provide our colleagues with clear guidance and the right support as we start the proposed consultation process.

“Like many other businesses, we are grappling with new and growing external pressures.

“We must, therefore, review and consider appropriate steps to safeguard the future of our whole business.”

Usdaw national officer Dave Gill said: “Our priorities are to keep as many staff employed within the business as possible and avoid compulsory redundancies.

“This is devastating news for our members, many of whom have given long service. They all worked throughout the pandemic when food manufacturing was identified as an essential service.

“We will now enter into meaningful consultation talks with the company. We are providing our members with the support, advice and representation they need at this difficult time.”

McVitie’s produces a range of cakes and biscuits including digestives, Penguin bars and Jaffa Cakes.

Bosses last year announced the closure of their sole Scottish site in Glasgow, leaving McVitie’s with five factories, in Carlisle, Leicestershire, Sheffield, Harlesden, north London, and Stockport, employing 4,200.

The firm grew out of an Edinburgh bakery that was set up in 1830 and in 1948 it merged with MacFarlane Lang to become United Biscuits.

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