Job cuts at Foyle Foods

Derry Journal - online and in print on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.
Derry Journal - online and in print on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

As many as 30 members of staff at the Foyle Food group at Lisahally have been told their jobs are at risk because of what the company are describing as reduced demand and a change to shift work practices.

The jobs affected are in the company’s boning hall department at the Waterside based meat processing plant where it’s understood the number of halls will be cut from two to one.

Workers in the factory who contacted the ‘Journal’ yesterday said they felt let down by management at the company who informed them that if they vote against a change in working practices when they are balloted today (Tuesday), there will be further job losses.

Staff in the department will today be asked to vote for or against a change from a five day 40 hour week to a four day 40 hour week. One man who contacted the Journal said:

“It’s disgraceful, we were taken into a meeting yesterday and told that if we vote against the changes, the number of people being laid off will go from 30 to 60. That is totally unfair and everybody here feels very let down. It’s just not on to be putting the responsibilty of further job losses on those of us who have to vote.”

A spokesperson for Foyle Foods said: “Due to a reduced demand for some of our beef products and a change to shift work practices, Foyle Food Group can confirm that 30 positions at its Lisahally site have been put ‘at risk’ of redundancy. We have notified UNITE the union and have entered into a 30 day consultation period during which time we will explore all alternatives to redundancy. The Company recognises that this is a difficult period for those concerned and their families but will continue to do everything possible to mitigate the number of job losses.

“Employees within the Company’s boning hall will be offered the chance on Tuesday April 1 to vote on a company proposal which includes an opportunity for staff to move from a 40 hour shift spread over 5 days to a 40 hour shift spread over 4 days. The outcome of this vote will affect the potential for greater numbers of redundancies at the site.”

Gareth Scott, from Trade Union UNITE, who represent the majority of the workforce said the union would stand by the decision taken by the majority of its members. He said UNITE would do all it could to help those workers affected at the plant.