Staff at Thakeham have been handed redundancy notices


400 jobs are under threat as the new owners of Thakeham mushroom farm in Sussex have sent risk of redundancy notices to staff.

The farm, one of at least eight such farms in the UK,  was acquired last year by Monaghan Mushrooms from Sussex Mushrooms and the takeover had to be cleared by OFT.

The redundancy notices were issued to all the Thakeham mushroom farm staff on Friday, warning them that their jobs are at risk of redundancy. GMB officers met with members the same day and they were given copies of the at risk notification.

A planning consent for 146 dwellings on the site for the former owners is under review following the takeover by Horsham District Council.

GMB regional organiser Charles Harrity said “The decision to issue at risk notice of redundancy looks like the worst kind of short term business planning. This is especially true when one considers that at the time of the very recent takeover there was a business plan in place which included a redevelopment of part of the site. According to an impact assessment report would lead to an increase in both jobs and production at this site and for the local area from 2015 onwards.

“So the decision to put all these jobs at Thakeham Mushrooms at risk is a despicable act. The question has to be raised has this site been acquired for its development potential rather than sustain jobs. I sincerely hope these jobs can be secured.

“In little over four weeks since the OFT sanctioned the takeover by parent company Monaghan Mushrooms, the new owners have completely changed their position. Far from growing the company and securing 400 jobs, it now seems that the whole business is in danger. I have already written to the company challenging their at risk notice”

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