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The last loaf of bread is coming off the production line at a Hovis bakery in Birmingham today. (Weds 24th April)
The owner of the factory in Garretts Green, Premier Foods, say the closure helps to protect the long term security of their bread division, against a background of tough competition and the loss of a 25 million pound contract.
Raja Hussein has worked at the factory for 17 years. He told Heart 'It is a sad day. I genuinely believe it has hit most people this week rather than when it was announced back in November. It's a sad end of an era, it's devastating for the workforce. There is only a handful of people who've secured employment elsewhere. The majority will be unemployed from today.'
A spokesman for Premier Foods said: “Towards the end of 2012 Premier Foods announced a number of critical steps to assure the long-term future of the Bread Division. As a consequence, the Company made a decision, following consultation, to close its bakery operations in Birmingham.
“Since then we have worked with the Trade Unions and Birmingham City Council Task Force to provide all employees affected by the closure with employability assistance, training and support to find other employment. This has included the creation of an employability fund whereby employees can request additional funding for individual training over and above the outplacement support if needed.
“Employees affected by the closure will be receiving redundancy terms in excess of statutory requirements. They are also required to sign a compromise agreement. The use of compromise agreements is standard practise right across the business, from top to bottom. It is a way of achieving a degree of finality between the employer and employee and safeguarding the interests of both parties.”
“We would like to thank all our employees at the Birmingham site for their continued commitment and professionalism since the our announcement in November.”