Meeting over job losses at Durham meat and bakery plant

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A MEETING has been arranged between factory bosses, union leaders and an MP in a bid to save Durham’s third largest private sector employer.

Kerry Foods, which employs 350 people, has announced plans to shut its sliced meat and bakery plant in Gilesgate village.

Durham MP Roberta Blackman-Woods will meet bosses and the workforce on Tuesday to try and prevent the job losses.

George Cain, North East organiser of the Usdaw union, said: “It’s important that we do all we can to resolve this situation for the greatest benefit of the workers, and we’ll be entering talks about how we do that.

“The shock of the announcement is still hitting the workers and they are now demanding answers.

“At the same time they are acting in a dignified manner and going about their work. There is a huge amount of respect for them for doing that.”

Kerry took over the plant from Unilever in 1994, and has said attempts to make the factory profitable have failed over the last six months.

Frank Hayes, director of corporate affairs at Kerry Group, said: “The workforce there is fantastic and this is a very regrettable decision.

“The facility has been making a loss for quite a while and we have been trying to secure the future of the site.”