Avana bakery in Rogerstone 'makes 390 job losses'

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Media captionLocal politicians say the job losses are devastating for the workforce

A bakery in Newport is reported to be cutting 390 jobs by November.

The Avana bakery in Rogerstone, Newport is to make the staff redundant by the end of November, the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers (BFAW) union says.

It comes just weeks after the site was bought by new owners Food Utopia from 2 Sisters Group.

There are around 552 people employed at the firm, with jobs under threat from earlier this year when a major contract was lost.

Unions say staff were told of the news at lunchtime.

'Devastating news'

"The company is looking to pick up business by launching its own products but this is a factory that has gone from 650 workers and a turnover of £55m down to around 140 workers and a much smaller turnover by the end of this year," said John James from the BFAW.

Rogerstone councillor Chris Evans has spoken to workers and he understands there will be significant job losses at the factory.

He said: "It's absolutely devastating news. Put simply this is a loyal workforce who deserve better."

South Wales East Conservative AM William Graham called on the Welsh government to hold talks with the firm, adding: "This news is hugely disappointing, particularly given the recent sale of the company."

Jobs have been at risk since February when the bakery lost a Marks and Spencer contract which was responsible for most of the site's production.

A Lancashire firm won the contract, ending a 77-year history with the Newport bakery.

Avana was set up in the late 1800s and used to have a bakery in Cardiff too, which closed when production was consolidated at Rogerstone.

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