A union bid to save 600 bakery jobs in Birmingham by renegotiating pay levels and shift patterns has fallen on deaf ears.
Officials from the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union met with management at Premier Foods’ Garretts Green Hovis plant in a bid to discuss options to save it from closure.
But regional official John Higgins said the food giant had failed to offer any hope for the 600 workers, who face being thrown out of work next year.
Mr Higgins said: “In recent years investment in the site has been nil and they are running with machinery that is outdated.
"That is not the fault of the people on the shopfloor – it is the fault of various investors who have not invested. Rivals like Warburtons have never been slow to put their hands in their pockets.
"We want to see a genuine effort to save jobs on that site – there are a lot of angry people at Hovis.
“We are asking them for options – our members do not want to be the richest bakers in the dole queue, they want to be working.”
Now the union has called a crisis meeting in Birmingham on December 11, when national officials will press for a meeting with boardroom bosses at Premier Foods in an attempt to save the jobs.
Hundreds of Birmingham workers face a bleak future following the announcement by Premier Foods last week that the Garretts Green bakery was to close after the firm lost a £75 million contract with the Co-op.
Mr Higgins said the union was prepared to negotiate over pay and shifts. He said: “We are prepared to discuss anything – all we need from the company is a starting point from which we can negotiate.”
He said Premier Foods had failed to agree to save permanent jobs by cutting 80 agency employees.
In a statement last week, Michael Clarke, chief executive officer of Premier Foods, said: “By simplifying our cost base, we can increase focus on improving efficiency, quality and service levels to help grow our core Hovis business.”