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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007, 21:03 GMT
Poultry firm lays off more staff
Turkey burgers
A total of 168 workers have been laid off
A further 38 workers have been laid off by a firm forced to slaughter 160,000 turkeys after a bird flu outbreak.

Bernard Matthews, which has factories at Great Witchingham in Norfolk and Holton in Suffolk, said the move was down to a fall in demand.

The number laid off from its workforce of 4,500 now stands at 168.

Miles Hubbard of the TGWU, representing many of the workers, said the news had been predicted but there were signs things were improving for the company.

"Things are panning out as expected with more people being laid off but there are signs the situation is bottoming out with recovery happening slowly," he said.

"We see things getting better over the next few weeks."

The turkeys were culled at Bernard Matthews' farm next to the Holton meat products plant.

The company was advised by government vets after the potentially fatal H5N1 strain of bird flu was discovered on 3 February.

The company, the UK's largest turkey producer, admitted that at one stage following the outbreak, its sales had fallen by 40%.



SEE ALSO
Turkey sales 'down by one-third'
20 Feb 07 |  Business

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