Birmingham Hovis job loss talks held

Hovis factory sign The Birmingham site, in Garretts Green, was built in 1964

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Unions officials have held talks with managers at Birmingham's Hovis bakery over their plans to close it with the loss of more than 500 jobs.

Premier Foods, the maker of Hovis, said on Tuesday it would close two bakery sites - the Garretts Green factory and one in west London.

It said it was part of its move to restructure its logistics operations.

Unite and The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union said they were still unclear what would happen to workers.

Officials from the two unions said they had planned to meet managers again for more talks next month.

Premier Foods is set to lose a £75m-a-year contract with the Co-op from the middle of next year after it was unable to agree a new deal.

David Seeckts, head of manufacturing for Hovis in the Midlands, said on Tuesday the company had had to take the "unfortunate but difficult decision" to close the Birmingham bakery after the contract was lost.

The company said the plans were subject to holding a consultation with employees.

The Birmingham site, in Granby Avenue, was built in 1964 and as well as bread it produces so-called "morning goods", such as bread rolls, scones and pancakes.

As well as Hovis-branded bread, it produces loaves for supermarket own-brand ranges.

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