Cereal giant Kellogg has been forced to defend its employment record at a plant in Wales after local unions claimed the company had not followed the correct procedures when deciding to axe over 40 jobs.

The US food giant told just-food today (14 September) that it had held talks with Usdaw union officials over its plans to make the cuts at the facility in Wrexham and was prepared to continue negotiations.

"Over the Wrexham plant's 31-year history, we've only made a handful of redundancies and, during this time, we've gained recognition locally (and specifically from Usdaw) for being a fair employer that remunerates and treats its workforce well," the company said. "That doesn't change. We want to manage this process as transparently and fairly as possible."

Kellogg claimed that almost 80 workers had asked for voluntary redundancy when it announced the job cuts.

The company insisted it remained "committed" to its Wrexham site, where it employs 521 workers.

"If we implement these changes we're confident we will emerge even stronger when the current economic downturn reverses," Kellogg added.

Officials at Usdaw failed to return requests for comment as just-food went to press.