Oscar Mayer, the US-based multinational food manufacturer, has announced plans to close its sites in Chard, Somerset, the South West of England, in the next 12 months, putting 860 jobs at risk of redundancy. The company is planning to relocate the business within the UK. A consultation with affected staff has already started.
The company said in a statement that 'significant action' was necessary 'to protect the long-term future of the group' as demand for its products was reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A representative of the GMB Union said the news was 'devastating' and called on local decision makers to 'help keep manufacturing' jobs in Somerset.
Oscar Mayer specialises in developing and producing packaged ready meals for UK supermarkets. The company has sites in England and Wales and employs 3,600 people.