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Jobs at risk at chicken factory

PUBLISHED: 08:31 27 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:10 03 March 2010

JOHN Rannoch Foods could make up to 70 of its workforce redundant as it strives to cut costs and compete in the competitive food industry.

The company, based at Haughley Park near Stowmarket, could shed up to 70 workers from its 900 workforce during the next four months if workers refuse to work different shifts for less money.

JOHN Rannoch Foods could make up to 70 of its workforce redundant as it strives to cut costs and compete in the competitive food industry.

The company, based at Haughley Park near Stowmarket, employs many of its staff from Ipswich who are bussed to the factory in fleets of vehicles at various times of the day to begin their shifts.

Up to 70 workers from its 900 workforce face redundancy during the next four months if workers refuse to work different shifts for less money.

Senior management wants the firm to become more efficient and the bulk of job losses – although not all – would come from natural wastage.

John Dutton, chairman and chief executive at the company, said: "The food industry is very competitive. The changes announced today will give us greater focus and efficiency that will allow us to grow and reinvest in the business.''

Managing director, Richard Cooper, said that the workers affected – full and part-time factory production staff – are being asked to work more morning shifts, which saves the company money as workers get lower shift payments.

Staff are being offered different shifts, but if they decline can take redundancy which would potentially see up to 70 go.

Mr Cooper stressed that hopefully the true number who take redundancy would be kept to a minimum.

He said: "I am very hopeful that we can avoid the vast majority of redundancies and the worst case scenario is up to 70. We are offering most people different working times during the day and are hoping to avoid all the redundancies.

"But if people will not move they have the option of redundancy. We will be more competitive and for those people who are here, that is good news.''

The firm is currently in talks with the Union of Shop, Distribution and Allied Workers Bury St Edmunds branch. No-one was available to comment at the union yesterday.

Staff losing their jobs will have left the company by October.

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