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BATTLE BUS BID TO SAVE BISCUIT JOBS; Workers seek local support.

Byline: LIAM MURPHY

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save the Burtons biscuit factory were taking to the road today.

An open top battle bus was touring Wirral urging people to support opposition to the planned closure of the plant.

The route of the "Burton's Biscuit Battle Bus" was including a stop at the site in Moreton.

It was announced last month that the factory, which opened in 1953, faces closure with the loss of 342 jobs.

The campaign to save the factory was being launched at the Leasowe Castle Hotel, where workers from the site, their families, and their union, Unite, were joining the bus.

Local MP Angela Eagle and Tony Woodley, ex-Unite general secretary, were starting a petition to show their support to the campaign. Workers and their supporters were then touring the local area on the Biscuit Battle Bus heading past the Burton biscuit factory to local shopping centres where they were asking the public to sign their petition opposing the factory closure.

Mr Woodley said: "I am disgusted that a business such as Burton's Foods is threatening to move the goal posts on a deal agreed by myself and its loyal and efficient workforce that guaranteed work until at least 2012.

"Unite will accept nothing less than Burton's agreement to honour their commitment to the site and our members.

"This is as much about the future of communities as it is about securing individual jobs.

"The consequences of closure will be devastating for this area.

"This is why our fight back starts now.

"We are launching a petition across the country to rally support from communities so we can keep these jobs at Moreton."

Burton's, which makes Jammie Dodgers, Wagon Wheels and Maryland Cookies, said it plans to invest pounds 7m in its Edinburgh and Llantarnam sites.

Its distribution centre in Knowsley is expected to remain, but be consolidated in a single location under the current plans.

To support the workers and sign the on-line petition see: www.unitetheunion.org/save burtonsbiscuits

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FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL: Burton's factory in Moreton and (left) Tony Woodley
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 5, 2011
Words:346
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