A DRINKS company has announced today that 168 jobs are set to go at its Bridgwater factory.

But Gerber Juice Company Ltd, which employs 700 staff plus around 100 agency workers, said it hopes to avoid compulsory redundancies.

Job changes could be introduced, which may affect pay scales, as part of the planned cuts.

And agency staff are thought to be most at risk during the large-scale restructuring of the factory operation.

A spokesman for the company said: “No compulsory redundancies are envisaged by the company and it is hoped that employees affected by the restructure will accept the alternative employment that is on offer.”

He added the changes were hoped to help secure future employment in the long-run.

One staff member, who did not wish to be named, said she was not worried about the plans as it was ‘jobs, not people’ that would be cut. She added it was simply a reshuffle to save money.

Dorothy Fogg, regional officer for Unite, the union representing the workers at Gerber, said: “We are really disappointed that the company feels that it needs to make these changes. However, we are working with them with the view that there won’t be any compulsory redundancies, which is a commitment given to us by the employer.

“Unfortunately, we are concerned that there may be serious reductions in pay for some employees as a result of the proposals and we would want to mitigate reductions in pay to anyone in the structure.”