Staff at Tayto offered redundancy packages

Tayto Director Stephen Hutchinson.
Tayto Director Stephen Hutchinson.

Tayto are seeking up to 20 voluntary redundancies among staff at the Tandragee factory, the company have confirmed.

A staff member at the site said: “A note went up on the board asking for volunteers for redundancy.

“The notice said it was due to overstaffing. What worries us is that it had the line ‘in the first instance’ they are seeking 20 volunteers for redundancy.

“Volunteers have been asked to contact their line manager or supervisor for a VR form. They say there is no guarantee an application will be accepted.

“What’s really annoying is they are taking in temps left, right and centre.”

However, a spokesperson for Tayto said: “We are seeking up to 20 individuals at the Tandragee site, who wish to be considered for voluntary redundancy. We expect the applicants to come from both the administrative and production sides of the business.”

The staff member went on to say there was a concern the company may be introducing a working practice where there are only a certain number of ‘key staff’ employed with the rest of the workforce made up of temps.

However, the spokesperson for Tayto denied this, assuring staff that no changes would be made to current contracts.

They said: “No changes are being made to contracts. In the future some temporary staff may be brought in to cover short term peaks in demand.”

In April this year strike action was threatened after a union was told up 80 jobs were likely to be lost at the factory.

The strike ballot was voted down with Tayto saying there was a strong possibility they would have to consider the cuts.

At that time a company spokesman said. “Two years ago Tayto Group had an outstanding year, which was reflected in the figures recently published, but this financial year has been more difficult and while things are picking up, business is down. We always experience a seasonal drop in the first few months of the year, but recovery has definitely been slower this year.”

Five years ago the company lost nearly £18million in one year but in the last three years have made a pre-tax profit totalling £17million.

The spokesman added that production costs in Tandragee “are considerably higher than at any of our other sites, which are all in England”.

“We have no intention of ceasing production at the Tandragee site,” the spokesman said in April.

“However, it could be that in the future we will be forced to restrict production here to what is sold in Northern Ireland.”

The Manderley Group is the parent name of the group of companies bought by the Hutchinson family members who originally founded Tayto Crisps in 1956.

The four directors of the company are Raymond Hutchinson, Anna Hutchinson-Kane, Stephen Hutchinson and Paul Allen.