Bad news for bosses at Bo’ness factory

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Industrial unrest is all set to continue at key Bo’ness employer, Caledonian Produce, amidst fears for a number of jobs on the site.

The issue does not revolve around a recent strike ballot, which involved workers on the factory floor, but a fresh threat of redundancies elsewhere.

Staff at the premises on Carriden Industrial Estate were called into meetings last week where the focus fell on a particular group of employees.

Multi-national giant Bakkavor, which owns the plant, has confirmed that managerial staff have been spoken to with regard to potential job losses.

A company spokesman said: “Caledonian Produce is entering into a consultation period with salaried employees to propose reducing the number of roles within the business.

“We believe this proposed reorganisation is necessary to ensure our business remains strong and competitive for the future.

“We recognise this decision represents a difficult time for all of the employees involved and this proposal is no reflection on their commitment and professionalism. Until the consultation process has been completed, we are unable to comment further.”

Falkirk’s sister paper, The Bo’ness Journal, learned that other workers outwith this bracket were also spoken to at a separate meeting – with a very different outcome.

This was confirmed by the GMB Union whose spokesman said: “We do not anticipate any impact on hourly staff but we are in close contact with management and are monitoring the situation very closely.”

Meanwhile, Linlithgow and East Falkirk MP Martyn Day said: “I am extremely concerned by any reports of possible redundancies.

“I am aware that Caledonian Produce are currently consulting with all employees, who may be affected by this announcement, and believe all options are still being considered. I will continue to monitor developments closely.

“In the meantime, if any of my constituents have any concerns, then they can contact me directly and I will try to assist them in any way possible.”

The company bills itself as the leading provider of fresh food in the UK and its clients include Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsbury’s

It is owned by two Icelandic brothers, Ágúst and Lýdur Guðmundssón, who also operate in China and the United States.

Caledonian Produce employ a total of 1,300 staff in Bo’ness.