Alcan Packaging intends to close its snack-food packaging plant in Midsomer Norton, England, eliminating all 218 jobs.
The closure, which Alcan blamed on declining United Kingdom demand and high raw material costs, was attacked immediately as unacceptable and premature by Amicus, the British trades union representing the workforce.
Alcan said it had begun consulting with employee representatives over the proposed shutdown, which is to be completed by the end of the year.
The company, part of Montreal-based Alcan Inc., plans to continue supplying snack-packaging customers in Britain from its flexible packaging plants in France.
The company also said it plans to close an aluminum hard-alloy extrusion plant in Workington, England, in the first half of next year with the loss of all 161 jobs. Work will be switched to more-efficient sites in France, Alcan said.
The group expects the two plant closures to result in a one-time pretax charge of $40 million in the first half of 2006.
``After thoroughly exploring and examining various alternatives, this proposed reorganization represents the most viable solution to ensure the long-term competitiveness of Alcan's European assets,'' said Jean Christophe Deslarzes, Alcan Inc. senior vice president of human resources.
Amicus national officer Peter Ellis said: ``Our members are angry and bitter at this proposal.
``We are not convinced by the company's claims that alternative options to closure have been tried, and we will be insisting that every possible option and alternative is explored before closure is considered,'' he added.