Lancashire biscuit factory staff could be facing massive shift upheaval

Staff at a Lancashire biscuit factory are facing major upheavals as the company aims to switch to 24/7 working.

Wednesday, 4th March 2020, 6:45 am

The move at Fox’s Biscuits at Wesham could see more than 300 staff having to work weekends and a four days on, four days off shift system.

Some staff have said the move would not be fair and likened it to working under Victorian conditions.

The company is entering into a 45 day consultancy period starting on Friday.

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The Fox's Biscuits site at Wesham near Kirkham

But the company said it was necessary to fulfil customer demands and the union said, while it would be disruptive to some, it could create more jobs at the site.

One member of staff who did not wish to be named said: “We are going to be forced into a four on four off system, working 12 hour days.

“It’s like going back to the Victorian days here at Kirkham. It’s not fair to have to work the equivalent of five and one half days in a four day period.”

Geoff Atkinson from the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union said: “An announcement was made to all of the staff about the changes due to come in August/September, with the whole staff going on 24/7 production. It could create around 50 new jobs but there will be upheaval for those used to working Monday to Friday shifts.

“The company has not yet sat down with us to discuss it but we aim to get the best deal for the staff. It may also bring investment to the site for the future.”

A spokesman for 2 Sisters Food Group, the firm which owns Fox’s, said: “In order to maximise the growth plans of our site in Kirkham, we are currently consulting with colleagues and their representatives about proposals to extend production hours.

“This would significantly help the site deliver more for customers and in turn boosts our commercial opportunities. No decisions will be made until we have completed meaningful discussions.”

Fox’s biscuits was founded by the Fox family in Batley, Yorkshire, in 1853.

The business was bought by Northern Foods in 1977, and then acquired by 2 Sisters Food Group in 2011.

Fox’s makes such biscuits as Party Rings, Sports Biscuits, Echo, Crunch Creams, and some own brand biscuits for supermarkets.