Union to mount strong campaign to save 120 jobs at Bungay book printer

Bungay book printers, Clays Ltd.
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Bungay book printers, Clays Ltd. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

The country's largest union has said it will mount a strong campaign to retain the estimated 120 jobs under threat at Bungay firm Clays.

Bungay book printers, Clays Ltd.
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Bungay book printers, Clays Ltd. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

The printing works is part of the print and marketing services group St Ives, and in a statement yesterday they confirmed redundancy proposals had been announced as a result of losing a major contract.

The Unite union has about 550 members at Clays and represents the majority of the 700-strong workforce.

Unite regional officer Mark Walker said: 'Clays is the heart of the local community in Bungay and Unite members are the heart of Clays.

'This is a highly skilled and loyal workforce that is understandably concerned about job security in these economically challenging times.


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'Unite has entered into a statutory period of collective consultation with management and will fight every step of the way to secure terms and conditions, and avoid compulsory redundancies.

'We want to mitigate the impact of any job losses and we will be mounting the strongest possible defence of our members' jobs.

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'We understand there are over 100 jobs placed at risk of redundancy, mainly affecting the shop floor in the pre-press, print and bindery departments.'

Established over 200 years ago, Clays is recognised as a market leading book production specialist, printing over 140 million books every year.

The company statement said: 'After a lengthy period of market share gain, Clays has recently been informed by one of its customers that they will be transferring their book production contract to an alternative supplier. As a direct consequence of this decision, Clays management have announced redundancy proposals on which they will be consulting with all employees affected.'

Clays managing director Paul Hulley added: 'We are understandably disappointed with this news. We will work with all employees affected to find the best possible outcome.'

It comes following a report on the PrintWeek website which said that St Ives had lost its contract to produce monochrome books for HarperCollins, which will result in a multi-million pound hit to the group's sales and profits. PrintWeek believes that rival book printer CPI Group has won the work.

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