Mars Chocolate has announced it will be offering 38 voluntary redundancies to employees at its Ballarat manufacturing plant.
The company's general manager Michael Ryan says it needs to improve the factory's efficiency and productivity to secure its future in Ballarat.
"The packages are very generous," he says.
"We expect that we'll get more than 38 applications for the voluntary positions."
Mr Ryan would not say if Mars would issue forced redundancies if the packages weren't accepted.
"So far we've got expressions of interest of nearly double that amount, so we don't think that's something we need to entertain."
The announcement comes a fortnight after the passage of a new enterprise bargaining agreement.
Mr Ryan says it should give a boost of confidence to the remaining 350-plus employees.
"The union has been aware of the possibility of these redundancies and we've been transparent with all of our people that the redundancies would be coming at around about this time.
"It's only until we've sort of proven the way the factory could operate under the new model that we could communicate the exact number."
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union organiser Colin Muir says members are still waiting for information about how the 38 redundancies will be applied across the factory's workforce.
"What we have asked and haven't been given a lot of information about at this stage is the break-up of that number is."
Mr Muir says the AMWU believes the decision is about making a profitable business more profitable.
"Obviously we never support redundancies but if it is about the ongoing viability of the business we're happy to have those discussions.
"I'm not so sure that it's just about straight out efficiencies, I think it's about profitability."
In a statement, the Victorian Government says the job losses are distressing for the workers and their families.
It says it's introducing a plan to generate new jobs and attract business investment.
Source and Photo: ABC