Mars to cut 700 UK jobs

Confectionery giant Mars has confirmed that it will cut 700 jobs in the UK as production of Twix bars and Starburst sweets is transferred overseas.

The company announced that it will close one of its main UK factories in Slough, Berkshire, with the loss of 500 jobs over two years. A further 200 posts will go at the firm’s five other plants in Leicestershire, Peterborough, Kings Lynn and Leeds.

Parent company Masterfoods said it was reducing its workforce by more than 1,000 across Europe, with jobs also being lost in France and Germany.

Pierre Laubies, president of Masterfoods Europe, said: “The proposals are all about growth and competitiveness. We need to be leaner and more focused. We aim to capture the engagement and dynamism of a small business with the benefits of international scale.”

But Frank Loveday, regional officer of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union, criticised the company for refusing to deal with unions.

“The company made £140m last year and just wants to make more. The managers have also been given huge pay increases,” he said. “The workers are in a state of shock because there has always been a feeling there would never be big job losses.”

Loveday said the offered redundancy package was “reasonable” but no substitute for a job.

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