Job losses at Hovis bakery

A picket line at the Hovis bakery in 2013
A picket line at the Hovis bakery in 2013
  • Workers informed on Wednesday afternoon
  • Number of redundancies thought to be around 48
  • Factory was site of dispute about zero-hours contracts in 2013

DOZENS of workers at a famous Wigan bakery are facing an uncertain future after being informed of a jobs bombshell.

Staff at the Hovis plant in New Springs were informed at 1pm today (Wednesday) that bosses plan to make almost 50 redundancies.

The Hovis bakery is a major employer in the Wigan community and news will have a big impact

Geoff Atkinson, regional secretary for the BFAWU

Consultations between the parent company Hovis Ltd and union officials are now set to take place this week.

Geoff Atkinson, regional secretary for the Bakery Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU), said: “This has come as a shock to us and our members. The Hovis bakery is a major employer in the Wigan community and this news will have a big impact.

“We will be meeting with company officials from Thursday and we will be fighting to get the best for our members and for as many workers as possible.”

A dispute over the use of agency workers and zero-hours contracts came to an amicable end in September 2013 after a number of strikes at the Cale Lane site.

Previous parent company Premier Foods said agency staff would only be used if “temporary labour shortages” can not be covered by “existing employees utilising overtime and banked hours.”

A representative for Hovis said: “Due to ongoing pressure and changes in the bread market, unfortunately it has become necessary for us to review our production levels.

“As a result 48 roles at our Wigan Bakery are at risk. We are consulting with the colleagues affected by this very difficult decision. No other bakeries are impacted.”