A UNION says 390 people are to be made redundant by November at Newport's Avana Bakeries, writes BECKY CARR.

The news follows a turbulent period for the Rogerstone business, which announced in February it had lost a major contract with Marks & Spencer and would have to close.

The factory was saved in July when new company Food Utopia Ltd bought the site from 2 Sisters Food Group Ltd. The number of jobs to be saved was not confirmed then.

John James, organising regional secretary of the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union, confirmed the 390 job losses.

He said: "I was aware there was going to be major job losses but we did not have numbers. They haven't got the amount of orders for the people they've got."

Mr James, who was read a statement about the redundancies on the phone this afternoon, is meeting with the company tomorrow to discuss their plans.

He added that the redundancies will be made between September and November following a consultation period.

The company refused to comment when approached by the Argus.

William Graham, AM for South Wales East, said: "We had hoped with a change of ownership they would be able to negotiate new orders.

"It's very depressing news for the workers and their families.

"It was a promise of hope in July because they were going to get new contracts, the food industry is very competitive."

Rogerstone councillor Chris Evans said: "Our worst fears have been realised. Let's wait for the facts to come out but I just feel for the local families. I've been in touch with them, I was one of the first people who they contacted. We must do all we can to secure their short and long term futures."