Almost 160 jobs under threat at historic McVitie’s factory in Stockport


Almost 160 jobs are at risk at the historic McVitie’s factory in Stockport, it was confirmed today. Pladis, the company behind McVitie’s, confirmed restructuring proposals at the plant off Wellington Road North ‘could potentially result in the loss of 159 out of 470 roles’.

Union bosses called the news ‘devastating’ and said it amounted to a ‘one-third cut in staff’. The company said there would be ‘full and meaningful consultation with employee representatives’ and the union, Usdaw, said it would now enter into consultation talks with the company.

Pladis pointed to ‘external headwinds such as rising inflation, increasing energy costs and supply chain disruption pushing up production costs’. Their statement, issued today, referenced ‘a change in consumer demand’.

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Pladis also confirmed proposals to ‘restructure’ the factory ‘subject to a full and meaningful consultation with employee representatives’. “The proposal could potentially result in the loss of 159 out of 470 roles,” said the company.

“The proposal seeks to address growing external headwinds such as rising inflation, increasing energy costs and supply chain disruption pushing up production costs, at a time when the business faces a change in consumer demand.

“Manchester remains a critical part of pladis’ operations in the UK, producing well-known branded products, however the factory’s operating model is no longer sustainable and must be addressed as part of the proposed changes.”

Unions branded the news ‘devastating’

Dave Gill, Usdaw’s National Officer, said talks between the union and Pladis would be held. Reacting to the news he said: “This is devastating news for our members, many of whom have given long service to the company and all worked throughout the pandemic when food manufacturing was identified as an essential service.

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“We will now enter into meaningful consultation talks with the company, where we will interrogate their business case for these proposed job losses. Our priorities are to keep as many staff employed within the business as possible and avoid compulsory redundancies. In the meantime we are providing our members with the support, advice and representation they need at this difficult time.”

Nina Sparks, Vice President of Supply Chain Pladis UK & Ireland, said: “We understand this news will be very difficult for those in Manchester. Our Manchester factory remains an important part of our UK business and our priority now is to provide our colleagues with clear guidance and the right support as we start the proposed consultation process.

“Pladis is the proud custodian of some of the world’s best-loved snacking brands and we believe strongly in their enduring consumer appeal. But, 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.”

Unions are speaking with the company

The news is another shock for employees still reeling from a closure. The closure of the historic McVitie’s factory in Glasgow – with the loss of more than 450 jobs – was confirmed in October last year after a long campaign.

Pladis blamed ‘excess capacity’ at other UK sites for the closure in the Tollcross area of ​​the city after almost 100 years in operation.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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