Moy Park said 82 jobs will be impacted from the shift change

Moy Park said 82 jobs will be impacted from the shift change

Jobs are at risk at Moy Park as the UK-based meat processor plans to reduce shift patterns at its plant in Lincolnshire due to "productivity growth."

Moy Park, which is owned by US poultry group Pilgrim's Pride, said it proposes switching to a five-day shift pattern as its site in the town of Grantham in eastern England from a seven-day working week, a move that will affect 82 employees.

Only last year, the company invested GBP12m (US$16.1m at the time) at the facility, including a factory for what it said at the time would cater to "free-from" products. In a statement announcing the change in shifts, Moy Park said the plant had received GBP20m in investment over the past three years "to secure the long-term future of the site and the facility now has one of the most advanced coating lines in Europe and is equipped to deal with current and future demand".

Around 1,000 people are employed at the plant. A collective consultation process for the 82 staff that might lose their jobs is planned, with Moy Park hoping to offer redeployment opportunities to those affected.

Andrew Nethercott, the retail director for the company's prepared foods business unit, said: "Grantham is a flagship facility with state-of-the-art equipment and technology, making it one of the most efficient of its kind. Our past investment ensures the site has capacity for growth in the future and Grantham remains vital to our overall development plans. 

"We will be providing staff with support and guidance regarding the proposed changes during the consultation stage and we welcome their input as part of this process. We are focused on offering as many redeployment opportunities as possible across the business."

The latest announcement by Moy Park is not the first to raise job concerns. Last month, the company said it would halt production temporarily at its plant in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, due to "challenging market conditions", prompting trade union Unite to warn as many as 400 jobs could be at risk.