The loss of jobs at three bakeries run by Greggs is a “devastating blow”.

Ronnie Draper, general secretary of the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), said yesterday’s news had come out of the blue and that he was “clearly disappointed”.

Although no dates have yet been set for consultations between the union and Greggs, Draper said the talks would be co-ordinated by Alan Milne, officer for the union’s north-east England and Scotland region.

Draper said: “Obviously, we are really disappointed. It is particularly raw at the moment and it must be even more raw for those who will lose their jobs.

“This news is clearly a devastating blow for all those workers affected, particularly given their role in helping the company to achieve a much improved trading position on the high street.

“The BFAWU will be doing everything possible to assist our members to access comparable jobs. We will be talking to other food sites in which we are represented to see if alternative employment can be offered. It will be a travesty if these highly skilled workers are lost to our industry.”

learning services

He said that those who found themselves out of work would be helped by the union’s learning services, which aids members with everything from writing CVs to filling gaps in their skillsets in areas such as IT.

Milne said that he hoped Greggs’ planned investment of £100m in the company over the next five years would help staff find new jobs within the company.

He said: “Our first priority is to support our members and keep them working within Greggs.”