Jobs secured at West Cumbrian factory

18 April 2017 7:28AM

More than 30 threatened jobs have been secured at a Workington factory following an agreement between bosses and trade union members.

Bosses at Amcor Flexibles Cumbria launched a consultation last summer into a planned restructure that would have cut 74 jobs from its 360-strong workforce.

It entered talks with the union Unite, which had about 200 members at the firm, which led to a formal dispute and a ballot of employees.

Now they have revealed that an agreement has been reached which has secured 32 of the threatened jobs, meaning 42 losses in total, and the dispute has been resolved.

Both parties are said to be satisfied with the outcome and working together to implement the agreed changes.

Angela Gibbs, plant general manager, said: “We are pleased at the willingness shown by all concerned to work together to achieve this outcome.

“We are now focusing on our shared responsibilities under the agreement that will help reduce costs, allow us to work better as a team, and provide a focus on delighting our customers with the quality and service they deserve.”

Ryan Armstrong, Unite regional officer, said: “Unite and Amcor have, after a long process, worked together as true partners, and this is reflected in an agreement that is acceptable to Unite members on the Salterbeck site.

“The agreement will allow for a flexible workforce that will hopefully return the Amcor site at Salterbeck to the pinnacle of the printing industry within the UK.”

Bosses last year said the restructure would help convert the business into a “healthy platform for growth serving the UK snacks and confectionery market”.

It did not give details of the reasons behind its proposals.

Amcor dates back to the 1860s, when Yorkshire stonemason Samuel Ramsden relocated to Australia and established Victoria’s first paper mill.

In the 1970s and 1980s it diversified the range of packaging products it created. It now operates more than 180 sites in more than 40 countries with 29,000 employees and describes itself as “a global leader in responsible packaging solutions”.

It supplies rigid and flexible packaging products into the food, beverage, healthcare, home and personal care and tobacco industries. Last month, staff at the factory produced thousands of Walkers crisp packets to commemorate Leicester football team’s Premier League championship.

Amcor supplies packaging for Pepsico, the company which owns the Walkers Crisps brand.

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