The company made the
announcement to stunned workers early this afternoon, saying in
order to reduce costs it was proposing to transfer all production
from Durham to other Kerry Foods sites. The company has other sites
in both the UK and Republic of Ireland.
The factory, which is
Durham's third largest private sector employer, has been in
operation for many years and primarily processes sliced meats for a
range of major and own label brands.
Thomas, Usdaw's North East Divisional Officer said:
"This is absolutely
disastrous news for everyone who works at Kerry Foods, for their
families and for the whole community. Many of our members have
worked at the site for years and a number even work alongside their
parents or sons and daughters so any closure could destroy the
incomes of entire families."
"There has been no prior
warning that closure was being considered, or even a suggestion
that the future of the site could be in doubt, so our members are
understandably extremely shocked, angry and distressed."
"We will examine the
company's business case for the proposed closure in detail but our
overriding objective will be to keep the site open and to save
jobs. We have already been in contact with local MP Roberta
Blackman-Woods and Stephen Hughes MEP and they have pledged to do
all they can to help us fight the closure and to save as many jobs
- Usdaw has approximately 200 members at Kerry Foods in
Durham, around 55% of the total workforce. Kerry Foods Durham is
located at Rennies Lane, Gilesgate Moor, Durham DH1
- Usdaw (the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied
Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and fastest growing trade union
with over 410,000 members. Membership has increased by more than
20% in the last six years and by nearly a third in the last decade.
Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also
has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing,
chemicals and other trades.