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2 Sisters Job Losses expected – Union

The union representing 2 Sisters Food Group workers has suggested redundancies could be on the cards across four of the UK firm's West Midlands sites.

Unite told just-food today (30 May) HR1 forms had been issued to members of staff across four of its five sites in the West Midlands. The form gives the Government advance notice of redundancies and are a statutory requirement for employers planning to make 20 or more roles redundant.

The union has claimed 2 Sisters has said the four sites will close if staff did not agree to a change in shift patterns. It is understood the company wants to change the shift patterns in order to make the facilities more competitive. However, a proposed pay increase of GBP0.20 per hour also angered workers.

"We started talking to our members last year," Unite regional officer Des Quinn told just-food. "We thought an agreement was possible and then the company pulled the rug from under us and said the two options we talked about weren't viable. They said the only viable option was for company to move from a five to a seven-day working pattern. They said if they didn't get seven-day working, the way the plants were operating would be unacceptable and they couldn't continue with the losses."

Unite said the total workforce across the four sites is around 1,400 - the majority of which are Unite members.

Quinn said Unite had hoped to meet with 2 Sisters yesterday for further talks but the meeting had been cancelled on Monday.

"We haven't balloted on industrial action at the moment. I have been speaking to the company to try and get a meeting but they've said they need time and are looking to see what they can do."

Quinn said members believe another offer may be put on the table.

"Since Tuesday we've been trying to get another date. We're waiting to hear what the company believes the next steps are. It's a bit frustrating but the ball is in their court at the moment."

A spokesperson for 2 Sisters said the company did not want to comment on the ongoing discussions while meetings are taking place, or predict what the outcome might be.

Source: - 30 May 2013