Heinz could cut 10% of UK workforce

Canned soup and beans giant Heinz has announced plans to cut up to 10% of its UK workforce. The Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital owned food business has said it wants to streamline its operations.

Currently the business employs 2,500 people across the UK and in Ireland, around 250 of these roles could be redundant. In a statement Heinz said: “As part of our transition to a private company, the senior leadership team has examined every part of our global business to better position Heinz for accelerated growth in a very competitive global market.

“The proposal is subject to a consultation process with employees and their representatives, and Heinz is committed to ensuring all employees are treated with the utmost respect and compassion.

“In the event that after consultation a decision is made to proceed with the proposals, the company would offer enhanced severance benefits plus outplacement services to help make the transition as smooth as possible, and to help affected employees pursue new career opportunities.”

Unite, which claims to be the largest union in the UK has demanded urgent talks with Heinz’s management. Unite national officer for the food sector Rhys McCarthy said, “A nearly 10% reduction in UK staff is savage, unnecessary and is putting profits before people. Ruthless cost cutting to maximise returns is the hallmark of pirate privateers.

“Also of concern is that Unite, which is recognised across Heinz’s sites in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, had to find out about this through the media and shows an enormous lack of respect for our members. We will be contacting the company to request urgent meetings and will make sure that proper consultation takes place to mitigate any potential job losses.”

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