UK own-label supplier Bakkavor has left the door open for the possibility of more jobs being saved at its produce site in Bourne.

Bakkavor yesterday (7 December) announced that 170 staff were “at risk of redundancy” from the reorganisation at the facility.

The company’s original proposals, announced in October, suggested that 375 jobs were under threat, which sparked anger from unions at the time.

However, union officials remain unhappy at the threat of 170 posts being cut at Bourne and yesterday hit out at the food maker for, among other things, axeing further planned talks on the issue.

This afternoon, Bakkavor said it had “followed due process” and the 90-day consultation period on its proposals had ended.

However, the company added: “We are continuing to discuss with the union alternative working patterns to further minimise the level of redundancies.”

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The Unite union had also claimed that Bakkavor had “savagely” cut earnings and “slashed” holiday pay.

Bakkavor said it would not be changing the hourly rate of pay for current employees but would be bringing in a lower rate of pay for “future recruits”.

“Regarding holiday pay and other premia – we will be making some changes to these elements as part of this process. We have made every effort to minimise these changes and have made improvements to the original proposal to ensure we can still offer our employees good terms and conditions. The changes being introduced meet legislation and remain competitive,” Bakkavor said.

It added: “As we have stated trading conditions are difficult and we are competing in a marketplace with other businesses that are able to maintain lower costs. In order for us to remain sustainable we have had to make changes, but this has meant we have been able to secure the vast majority of the jobs at the site whilst still offering terms and conditions in line with or on average better than our competitors.”