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Job cuts on cards at Pladis crackers plant, UK union says

Up to 361 employees at a Pladis-owned Jacob’s Crackers plant in the UK are facing losing their jobs, according to a local trade union.

The GMB union said the figure accounts for nearly half of the workforce at the factory in Liverpool, in England’s north-west.

A union spokesperson told Just Food Pladis, the snacks manufacturer which owns the well-known savoury crackers brand, is engaged in a statutory consultation process with workers and their representatives but suggested this was a “box-ticking exercise”.

The site in the Aintree area of Liverpool employs 763 workers from the local area.

Lisa Ryan, GMB regional organiser, said: “This decision will leave many workers feeling frustrated and worried.

“In the run-up to Christmas last year, GMB members at the site were on the picket line fighting for better pay. The workers won the pay they deserved.

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“We will fight tooth and nail for the best outcome for Jacob’s workers.”

The strike a year ago saw employees taking sporadic action in pursuit of a pay award.

Pladis – the global snacks arm of Turkey’s Yildiz Holding – switched some production of Jacob’s Cream Crackers to a third-party manufacturer in Portugal during the dispute to ensure supply.

In March 2022, Pladis flagged potential job losses at a plant in Manchester, also in north-west England, having already announced the closure of a site in Tollcross in Scotland.

Pladis told Just Food there will be no redundancies before December next year.

In a statement, it said: “Jacob’s is one of the most iconic brands in the UK and has been around for over 100 years. To ensure it can remain for another 100 years, it is essential we address the current constraints we have at Aintree. We have therefore proposed some changes at the site which include a significant investment in the infrastructure but reducing the overall site footprint.

“This proposal will now be subject to consultation with our employees as it could result in a reduction in roles at Aintree from December 2024. We will do everything we can to support our colleagues through this uncertain time.”

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