More than 200 jobs go in Moreton

Burton Foods at Moreton on the Wirral has announced job cuts.

In January Burton Foods announced they planned to close the Moreton biscuit factory with the loss of more than 300 jobs.

After months of negotiation between the company, Wirral Borough Council and unions, the announcement came on Friday (20th) that 219 jobs are being cut.

In a statement sent to Heart the company said :"In April it was agreed that biscuit production would cease at Moreton but that further consideration would be given to union counter proposals in relation to the chocolate refinery and seasonal assortment packing operations at the site.

"Having worked closely and constructively with UNITE, the trade union, the Company now confirms a plan based on the Union proposal to maintain the chocolate refining operation at Moreton, with the retention of up to 51 jobs. A capital investment programme is also proposed focussed on building the capabilities in the refinery.

"The union proposal to retain a seasonal assortment packing operation has however been rejected as being commercially unviable. Subject to full commercial agreement, it is therefore proposed that seasonal assortment packing will be outsourced to DHL resulting in the proposed TUPE transfer of employees from Moreton to DHL operations at G Park Liverpool.

"Burton's Foods is now continuing to work with UNITE in consultation on the TUPE transfer to DHL, and the support of employees who will no longer be employed by Burton’s Foods at the site that will incorporate working with local agencies and providing relevant training support."

Unite regional officer, Ritchie James said: "We believe we got the best possible outcome for our members in terms of sustainable jobs and enhanced terms for those being made redundant. 

"The retention of the chocolate refinery and some 60 jobs that would have otherwise have been lost will be kept on the Moreton site.

"The plan to invest £2.8M of capital investment into the plant will future proof job security for as long as can reasonably be expected. And a further 58 possible TUPE posts for those workers wishing to transfer to the new Liverpool site.
"However, it is disappointing and upsetting that we have not succeeded in saving the whole site and the 219 jobs that will be lost. This is just the latest in a series of disappointments for the workforce and devastating new for its community.

"It is our aim now to work with Wirral Borough Council to develop the site and create new job opportunities for a fantastic workforce."