Findus workers to be made redundant

Around 400 workers at the Findus food plant in Newcastle, which went into administration last week, are to be made redundant.

GMB union official Chris Preston said: "This is devastating news and is most depressing given that the factory had a full order book. GMB members who are losing their jobs are victims of the private equity craze and the credit crunch that resulted from irresponsibility in the financial markets.

"This is a bankers' recession. These bankers need to be made to account for the devastation that they have caused to the lives of ordinary families up and down the country."

The administrators said they had been encouraged by the level of interest shown by prospective purchasers of the factory's owner, Newcastle Productions, adding that they remain confident that a sale can be achieved.

Newcastle Productions reportedly hit financial difficulty with the collapse of one of its main backers, the Icelandic bank Landsbanki.

The firm, headed by managing director Vidar Engen, opened in 1983 and reports suggested that the fire last week broke out in the main food production area of the factory at Balliol Business Park, Longbenton.

It is understood that none of the workers there at the time was injured in the blaze, which needed 34 firefighters to bring it under control.

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