McCain's staff facing bleak Christmas as half of Hull workforce set to lose jobs
WORKERS in danger of losing their jobs at McCain's Hull factory could be facing a bleak Christmas.
Almost half of the workforce based at food manufacturer McCain's Hull site could lose their jobs after the factory, which employs 127 people, proposed changes in shift patterns, resulting in up to 50 jobs being lost.
According to one worker at the west Hull factory, the proposals will mean the two production lines will be cut to one which, in turn, means the number of staff working at the factory will be cut.
The worker, who did not wish to be named, said: "People are really concerned whether or not they will have a job after Christmas.
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"The majority of people have a very long service with the company. There are workers who have been here for 35 years and I think it will hit us all very hard.
"We all still hope the company won't get rid of this amount of jobs."
The consultation period, which started towards the end of last month, is now almost complete.
Unite regional officer Malcolm Hancock said: "Most people are feeling like there is an axe swinging over their heads.
"The company seems quite determined it intends to lose jobs. How many is the question but it seems quite intent on reducing numbers.
"The company has not yet disclosed what the final plans are. Some of the answers have been quite woolly but we want to know exactly what the plans are."
However, the worker said McCain has been honest and open with its workforce.
The worker said: "I have no qualms with the company. They have been totally honest with us."
These proposed changes at the factory on Brighton Street Industrial Estate in Freightliner Road would help the business work against competition.
The worker said: "The morale in the factory is quite low.
"People are interested to know if they have a job.
"In the current climate, factories are closing down all over. It is going to be so hard but I don't think the company would have planned it to fall over this time of year."
The Hull factory, which has been at the site since 1984, deals specifically in McCain's breaded finger foods, rather than chip production, and according to the firm, the proposals are specific to the Hull site.
According to the company, which employs more than 1,000 people across Yorkshire and the Humber, all current products will remain in production and output levels will initially be unchanged, although extra capacity will be created to meet future demand.
McCain said: "The consultation process on proposals for shift changes is still under way.
"We take such a consultation very seriously and so will not comment publicly on any aspect of the process or proposals at this stage."
The next consultation meeting is set to take place today.