Restructuring warning bells across Heinz

HJ Heinz Co Ltd, Kitt Green
HJ Heinz Co Ltd, Kitt Green
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WIGAN’S MP is demanding urgent talks with bosses after Wigan’s biggest manufacturer announced job losses.

Heinz chiefs warned staff about restructuring proposals at company-wide employee meetings yesterday morning.

The firm conceded that this could lead to 248 clerical and middle management job losses across their four UK and Ireland sites.

It has thus far declined to reveal how far this will hit Europe’s biggest canned food production site at Kitt Green.

However union sources representing the majority of staff – Unite the Union has yet to officially comment – believe that the firm’s headquarters at Hayes in Middlesex will take the brunt of the axe swinging.

MP Ms Nandy (pictured right) has now sought an immediate meeting with the company to discuss the latest announcement and the future of Heinz Kitt Green, which currently employs 1,200-plus staff.

She said: “Job losses would be devastating both for the Heinz staff and for Wigan.

“As one of our largest employers, Heinz is vital to the local economy.

“I would expect any good employer to involve staff in the decision-making process before making an announcement of this nature.

“I am not aware that any such discussions have taken place and I have written to the company to seek urgent clarification about its future plans.”

She has now also offered her full assistance to the workforce union representatives.

A spokesman for HJ Heinz said that its senior leadership tea had examined “every part of the company’s global business as part of its transition to ownership as a priovate company following the 3G finance buy out.

“It was confident of being able to put Heinz in a “better position” for accelerated growth. He said: “After a comprehensive evaluation process, the company has developed a proposed new streamlined structure for Heinz UK and Ireland.

“Unfortunately, the proposals may result in a number of difficult organizational changes, including the elimination of 248 office positions across the UK and Ireland.

“We regret the impact this may have on Heinz employees and their families.

“The proposal is subject to consultation with employees and their representatives and Heinz is committed to ensuring all employees are treated with the utmost respect and compassion.”