Page last updated at 14:15 GMT, Wednesday, 28 October 2009

93 jobs to be cut at cheese plant

Milk Link
It had been hoped Milk Link's buyout ensured the safety of jobs at the plant

More than 90 job losses at a cheese-making and packing plant in Denbighshire have been confirmed.

Milk Link bought the creamery in Llandyrnog in June, saving 160 jobs after the co-operative Dairy Farmers of Britain (DFOB) went into receivership.

Plans to stop packing cheese at the factory and to switch the process to an existing plant in Oswestry, Shropshire were first unveiled last month.

The company has held talks with unions over the last month.

It said the decision was "not a reflection" on staff's hard work.

DFOB went into receivership at the beginning of June, placing jobs at its creameries in north and south Wales in jeopardy.

The co-operative had lost a lucrative supermarket contract and was struggling to pay its 1,800 member farmers a competitive price for milk.

Milk Link stepped in to save the Denbighshire factory, but a subsequent review concluded it had "high and unviable staffing levels."

The company, which employs 160 workers at Llandyrnog, said it hoped to keep the number of compulsory redundancies to a minimum among the 93 job losses.

It said 30 people employed at Llandyrnog, Oswestry and another plant at Malpas in Cheshire have expressed interest in voluntary redundancy and six jobs are being made available at its Crediton site in Devon.

A spokesman for the firm said a joint agreement had been reached after a 30 day consultation involving union officials.

He added: "We of course regret the impact of this strategic review on those who will find themselves in a potential redundancy situation.

"It is hoped that the measures Milk Link has undertaken thus far will help to minimise the effect as much as possible.

"It should be stressed that this is not a reflection on the hard work and commitment shown by the staff at Llandyrnog.

"These steps have been taken to return the site to profitability and provide a solid basis for the long term future of the creamery."

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