500 jobs at risk as Dronfield bakery loses major contract

Gunstones Bakery, Stubley Lane.
Gunstones Bakery, Stubley Lane.
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More than 500 jobs are at risk after a bakery lost a major contract, according to union bosses.

Gunstones Bakery, in Dronfield, near Sheffield, may have to axe up to 524 employees - 45 per cent of its workforce - after losing the contract for producing chilled foods in June.

Strike outside Gunstones Bakery, Stubley Lane, in 2015.

Strike outside Gunstones Bakery, Stubley Lane, in 2015.

Union bosses described the news as 'devastating', but the bakery said that there are 'plans in place to mitigate this loss'.

Jit Singh, regional officer for the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Trade Union (BFAWTU), said: "Of course this is devastating for the workers at Gunstones Bakery.

"We are still waiting on solid facts and figures from the company, so it is still to early to know the full impact of this.

"We are in regular, constructive dialogue with the company and will hopefully know more soon."

Mr Singh said there were currently around 350 agency staff working at the factory, and these roles could potentially be offered to people made redundant. He was also hopeful that some staff might be able to move to a sister company nearby.

A spokesman for 2 Sisters Food Group, which owns the bakery, said: "We announced to colleagues in June the loss of a filled rolls and sushi contract to another supplier.

"As this contract doesn't end for another six months, this gives us time to put plans in place to mitigate this loss, and this continues.

"In addition, we have won a new five-year bakery contract since we announced the contract termination. it would be inappropriate to speculate at this time what the outcome will look like in March 2017."

Workers at the Dronfield bakery staged a 48 hour strike in June last year after company bosses refused a 28p an hour pay rise for its lowest paid employees.