Unite claims leaked document shows Burton’s planned to close factory without staff consultation

Manufacturer Burton’s Foods has denied making plans to close a Wirral factory three months before it announced a review of the site’s future.

Trade union Unite claims to have seen a secret document showing that the company had decided to close the Moreton biscuit factory in February, despite announcing the review in May.

Franny Joyce, Unite regional industrial organiser, said the report had serious implications.

“This document, we believe, shows that the manufacturing review was designed to justify a decision that had already been taken,” he said.

“What we have seen today confirms that Burton’s decision was to close our plant and sack our people well in advance of telling us.”

However, Burton’s insisted that the proposal to cease manufacturing biscuits at the site was agreed at a board meeting “at the end of April”, and communicated to employees on 11 May.

“Burton’s Foods reaffirms that it has entered into consultations regarding the future of its site at Moreton in a genuine and meaningful way,” added a spokesman.

Unite is seeking an urgent meeting with Burton’s new owner, private equity firm Duke Street Capital.

“This report shows us that the company has failed in its statutory duty to consult in a meaningful way,” said Joyce.

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