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Jammie workers will keep jobs after union makes deal
[August 17, 2007]

Jammie workers will keep jobs after union makes deal

(The Birmingham Post Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) A rescue package has been agreed which will save at least 430 jobs at the factory which makes Wagon Wheels and Jammie Dodgers.

Duke Street Capital, the private equity house which owns Burton's Foods in Wirral, Mer-seyside, said last month it planned to close the site with the loss of 821 jobs.

But yesterday the Transport and General Worker's Union announced it had agreed a deal with Burton's to retain more than half the workforce. The TGWU said the deal will involve altering the plant layout and a pounds 7.3 million package of savings.

In exchange, the union says the site has been given a minimum of five years' guaranteed work. Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of the Unite union, confirmed that as part of the proposals there would still be job losses.

But he added: "There is no doubt in my mind we have put together the best deal available for Moreton in the circumstances.

"Work has been guaranteed and jobs have been saved. We now have a basis for looking forward." Duke Street Capital initially said it was closing the factory because of "overcapacity" in the biscuit industry.

Burton's, one of the biggest names in the business, which makes Cadbury Fingers, Highlights and Digestives, Jammie Dodgers, Maryland Cookies and Wagon Wheels, together with a range of own label biscuits, also owns factories in Blackpool, Edinburgh and Llantarnam, which is in South Wales.

Paul Kitchener, chief executive of Burton's Foods, added: "Following a constructive consultation process we have developed an alternative proposal for Moreton that will see the creation of a centre of manufacturing excellence for our seasonal ranges."

Copyright 2007 Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd , Source: The Financial Times Limited

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