900 jobs at risk as Kerry Group to shut factory
Kerry Group's planned closure of its factory in Burton-on-Trent, which will result in the loss of 900 jobs, has been described as a "crushing blow" for the English town.
Earlier this year, Kerry said it would look at potential job cuts in its UK operations over the following months as part of a review of its manufacturing divisions.
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The Dairygold manufacturer on Monday said it proposed ceasing operations at its production facility in Burton from the start of September, "notwithstanding continuing efforts to find alternative solutions for the site."
Trade union Unite said it would leave no stone unturned in helping its members affected by the announcement, and has already been in touch with brewer Molson Coors, the town's second largest employer, regarding employment opportunities.
Unite regional officer Rick Coyle said: "This is a calamity for Burton as Kerry Foods is the town's biggest employer.
"It is heartbreaking for the workforce, their families and, more widely, a crushing blow for the regional economy."
Unite added that the closure was a result of Kerry Foods losing its contract to supply supermarket giant Tesco with ready-made meals.
Mr Coyle said: "The problem going forward is that there are not that many well-paid jobs in Burton and the vicinity to replace those that will be lost at the end of August.
The union said its staff will meet management on Friday to discuss an enhanced redundancy package for its members.
Revenue and trading profit at Kerry, which employs over 25,000 people worldwide, increased by 3.1pc to €6.6bn and €805m respectively last year.
Additional reporting PA