MORE than 50 bakery jobs are being axed after Warburtons bosses confirmed its Blackpool factory will close at the end of the month.
Workers at the Marton factory were officially told 55 of them will lose their jobs yesterday after the company made the “difficult decision” to cease production at the Brinwell Road site.
The company has confirmed a further 16 workers have found alternative jobs or will be re-deployed by Warburtons when the factory shuts on January 31, while two have taken early retirement.
Geoff Atkinson, from the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union, said: “The workers were expecting the worst and the worst came.”
Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden said: “We can ill-afford to lose quality and established manufacturing jobs in the Blackpool area but I’m obviously relieved a section of the workforce has been redeployed.
“The emphasis must shift to trying to find new opportunities for the people who have been made redundant and the other issue is what is to happen to the site, because that trading estate is significant for the local economy.”
Outside the factory immediately after the announcement, staff said they were unable to talk to The Gazette because of a confidentiality clause in their contracts.
Jonathan Warburton, chairman and chief executive of the family-run firm, said the last year had been “particularly challenging”.
He said: “Closing a bakery is the hardest decision our family business has to make.
“The last year has been particularly challenging due to a number of changeable factors including further pressure on household budgets and an increasingly competitive market. ”
Production at the factory will stop a week before it officially closes, on January 25.
Mr Atkinson added: “I can only praise the company and the way they have supported the members of staff.
“They didn’t have to give us a 90-day consultation, but they did.
“The company have handled everything amicably with the staff.”
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