Bosses at Solway Foods in Corby have revealed that up to 500 jobs at its town plant could go by mid-April.
The company, which employs 900 people making salads and sandwiches, says its factory in Godwin Road is not viable in the long term and it is now several weeks into a 45-day consultation process with workers.
A statement from Solway Foods issued today said: “Our consultation is progressing on plan and there has been a positive dialogue with our colleagues, the union and our customers.
“We particularly welcome the assistance of the taskforce group to facilitate the change process we are currently going through.
“No firm decisions about the future of the site have been made; however, we have had to make contingency plans in advance of any final outcomes to ensure we retain strong ongoing relationships with our customers.
“One aspect of this has been to inform our larger customers of the potential outcomes and the need to transfer their products to other food processing companies in order to provide service continuity for their customers.
“This will be happening in the coming weeks.
“This means that once the consultation period has ended, there will be a necessity to reduce the number of employees who work in these affected areas, which could be up to 500 employees by mid-April.
“These will initially be sought with voluntary redundancies. Our position remains unchanged from our initial announcement.
“The Corby site is unviable, it requires ongoing substantial additional funding, and there is a risk that the site could close.
“We will continue to work closely with our colleagues, the taskforce and the local community to bring about the best possible outcome for those affected in the challenging circumstances we face.”
A taskforce was set up to work with the company following its announcement that Solway Foods could close, resulting in the loss of 913 jobs.
Bosses at Solway Foods in Corby are still considering a number of options while talks continue to save all 913 jobs at the company’s town plant.
Corby MP Andy Sawford, who is a member of the taskforce, said: “I am very sorry to say that I have heard from workforce representatives and now from the company that it looks like there will be about 500 redundancies at Solway.
“I am meeting the company again on Monday.
“The union, JobCentre Plus and the Skills Funding Agency have said they are working now with the workforce to support those who will have to look for new jobs, and link them up with companies that are recruiting.
“The taskforce will continue to work to keep as many jobs as possible and to support those affected by redundancies.
“I am very sorry for those workers and their families who are going to be extremely worried what the future holds for them.”
Leader of Corby Council Cllr Tom Beattie said: “I am very sorry and disappointed to hear the news that this many employees will be facing redundancy from Solway Foods.
“This is devastating news for any worker, which is why the taskforce will continue to do whatever they can to support those concerned and keep as many jobs as possible and help prevent further redundancies.”