Bernard Matthews lays off yet more workers

Bernard Matthews has laid off a further 35 staff following last month's avian influenza (AI) outbreak in which 160,000 turkeys were slaughtered.

This brings the total number of staff laid off to 270 out of a workforce of 4,500.

A spokesman for the company issued a statement blaming low sales that are yet to recover: "Following last month's avian flu outbreak and the recent drop in product sales Bernard Matthews has regrettably had to temporarily layoff an additional 35 staff with effect from the 29 March 2007.

"Discussions between Bernard Matthews and the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) remain ongoing and the TGWU has agreed to the layoff proposal.

"Bernard Matthews continues to communicate with its staff on a regular basis and remains committed to restoring consumer confidence."