The threat to 230 jobs at the Arla Foods fresh milk processing plant at Hatfield Peverel, Essex has left a sour taste in the mouth for the workforce, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Monday 7 March).
Arla Foods announced today that the plant could close by the end of July with the company’s £150 million Aylesbury site taking on the bulk of the Essex processing operation.
Unite regional officer Mark Barter said: “This is very bad news for the workforce and their families – it leaves a sour taste in the mouth. There is not much similar employment in the area and the commute to Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire would be far too much on a daily basis.
“The first opportunity to meet management will probably be this Friday when we will be asking for the reasons why this plant has had to close – we will require a full explantion.
“We will want to investigate every opportunity to save these milk production jobs.
“We are also very concerned about the proposal to transfer a further 32 logistical/driving staff to Bidvest Logistics – we would want to ensure that there is no erosion of pay and conditions, if they are TUPE’d [Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment)] to this new employer.
“Unite represents 137 members at Hatfield Peverel and, as a union, we will be giving them the maximum support through this very difficult time.”