Icelandic food firm Bakkavor criticised for layoffs

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A union representing workers at an Icelandic-owned food factory in Lincolnshire is angry at a decision to end talks over job losses just before Christmas.

The Unite union said food processor Bakkavor was pushing through plans to lay off 170 people in Bourne.

Unite's Jennie Formby said she was "furious" the consultation was unilaterally terminated.

Bakkavor said it had reduced job losses from 375 to 170 during the process.

Ms Formby said the firm, which makes salads, prepared fruit and stir fry at the Bourne site, promised further meetings to look at cost saving measures to retain jobs and minimise cuts.

Financial pressures

She said: "They have savagely cut earnings by up to £105 per week and they have slashed holiday pay and other premiums.

"If they had a shred of decency they would stay at the table with us and look at every possible means of saving the 170 jobs which are set to go."

A spokesman for Bakkavor said: "We have engaged with Unite throughout the consultation process and are therefore disappointed by their level of understanding regarding the pressures impacting the UK food industry as well as those affecting the Bourne Prepared Produce business.

"Bakkavor has followed due process and the 90-day consultation period has ended. We are continuing to discuss with the Union alternative working patterns to further minimise the level of redundancies."

About 700 people will remain at the site, one of eight owned by the company in the county.

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