United Biscuits (UB) employees have been told that 202 jobs will be cut from the McVitie’s Glasgow factory. 

The biscuit manufacturer said on Friday that 202 job losses would be made, as it announced proposals to restructure its working practices and manufacturing operations.

The GMB union, which represents staff at United Biscuits (UB) owner of McVitie’s, is currently seeking a meeting with the company and has called the job cuts “devastating and wholly unexpected”.

The biscuit giant, UB, said in a statement: “These major changes unfortunately mean redundancies and 202 jobs are at risk, out of circa 680 roles on-site. However, it also means some new opportunities will be unlocked, with the creation of 36 new roles and also the introduction of 19 up-skilled operator positions available. This would mean an overall headcount reduction of 166 jobs.”

The company reportedly wants to complete the restructure by mid-2015.

UB continued: “This is part of our ongoing commitment to deliver a modern, efficient and competitive operation and, without these changes, Tollcross will not have a sustainable future in the local community. We are now discussing the proposal with employees, employee representatives and local government.

“We have been working with Scottish Enterprise and appreciate their support that has enabled us to safeguard jobs. However, regrettably, we do anticipate redundancies through this process and are committed to working with all parties to minimise the impact. Individuals who may be impacted will be able to benefit from the PACE outplacement programme.”

"Devastating and wholly unexpected"

Harry Donaldson, secretary GMB Scotland, said on Friday: “Chief executive Martin Glenn met with each shift at Tollcross today (Friday 28 November) starting at 5am. He delivered devastating and wholly unexpected bad news that there would be 202 job losses out of the 700 jobs at the plant. His message was bitter-sweet as he also announced the badly needed investment plans that the plant has been crying out for over many years.

“This has come at the worst time of year in the run-up to Christmas. GMB will support all members at this difficult time. We will be seeking the involvement of the Scottish Government in this. We want the Scottish Government to set up a taskforce to focus on bringing badly needed investment and development in the Tollcross area.”

The move comes after a strike has been scheduled to take place at UB’s Jacob’s plant in Liverpool between now and Christmas regarding an issue with sickness leave.