Job losses as Heinz close departments

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A Wigan bean factory has made more staff redundant amid claims it has outsourced two departments to Romania.

A source told the Evening Post that 14 jobs had been lost at the Heinz’s National Distribution Centre in Kitt Green after the company decided to outsource its telesales and customer service departments.

A number of staff from the affected departments have been redeployed elsewhere in the company but people where an alternative position could not be found have lost their jobs, according to the source who asked not to be identified.

It is believed a total of 13 full-time positions have been lost.

Heinz confirmed that it is in the process of implementing a new structure which has seen some day-to-day services outsourced and that this had resulted in redundancies.

But the company did not confirm how many staff had been affected or reposnd to the claims the departments had been outsourced to Romania.

The source said: “The departments being outsourced to Romania are Telesales, who process orders, and Customer Service, who managed the orders and provided a point of contact between Heinz and their customers (Tesco, Asda, etc).

“Several staff have been redeployed within the company, the remainder have been made redundant, with official finish dates last Friday through to early November.

“There have been 14 heads affected, 13 full time equivalent positions.”

The source claims that staff being made redundant or moved were also required to train the Romanian staff that would be taking over from them as part of a ‘Knowledge Transfer’.

They said: “Staff were told about the outsourcing in April of this year and ‘Knowledge Transfer’ started on June 6 for six weeks.

“The Romanians came to the NDC (National Distribution Centre) and the staff had to train out their jobs in both a classroom setting and with job shadowing. There was then a two week break whilst they went back to Romania to train out to additional staff.”

The news comes 18 months after 71 jobs were lost at the processing plant when parts of the production line were automated to boost efficiency.

A spokesman for Heinz said: “We are at an advanced stage of implementing a streamlined structure for day-to-day transactional processes using outsourced services.

“This will enable us to deliver best-in-class processes and platforms for growth, which drive standardisation, innovation and continuous improvement.

“This brings us into line with more efficient ways of working already adopted by many of our peer group companies.

“Unfortunately the actions result in a reduction in some roles which was subject to a consultation process with employees and their representatives.

“We remain committed to ensuring all employees are treated in a fair and reasonable manner.”