Moy Park blames market conditions for partial closure of Co Antrim factory
Moy Park has blamed "challenging market conditions" for a decision to temporarily halt some production at one of its Northern Ireland factories, with a trade union voicing concerns the decision could lead to mass job losses.
The company said it will cease processing of live birds at the Ballymena plant which will have a knock-on effect on its nearby hatchery. Other production processes will continue at the plant.
Around 1,700 people are employed at the site, however it understood no job losses are being considered with staff moved to other sites, or to other roles until production fully resumes.
Trade union Unite, however, has said they are concerned the decision could result in the loss of up to 400 jobs.
A Moy Park spokesman said: "Moy Park is proposing to temporarily cease processing live birds at Ballymena due to challenging market conditions, with the view that we will re-open the line in January 2020.
"In line with this it is proposed the North Antrim Hatchery will temporarily cease hatching until November 2019. We will continue to cut, further process and pack at Ballymena, including retail production of our BBQ products.
“We are currently working with our colleagues and their representatives doing our utmost to minimise the impact of this proposal on our excellent workforce, including offering temporary transfers to other shifts and roles.
“We will also be working closely with our farming partners throughout the process to manage this temporary reduction in poultry requirement.”