Matthews lays off more staff

A further 38 workers have been laid off by British turkey farmer Bernard Matthews, who was forced to slaughter 160,000 turkeys after a bird flu outbreak.

Bernard Matthews, who has factories at Great Witchingham in Norfolk and Holton in Suffolk, said the move was down to a fall in demand. The number laid off from its workforce of 4,500 now stands at 168. Miles Hubbard of the TGWU, representing many of the workers, said the news had been predicted but there were signs things were improving for the company.

"Things are panning out as expected with more people being laid off but there are signs the situation is bottoming out with recovery happening slowly," he said. "We see things getting better over the next few weeks."

The company, the UK's largest turkey producer, admitted that at one stage following the outbreak, its sales had fallen by 40%.

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