estlé is to cut almost 600 jobs and close a confectionery factory in Newcastle. The company has said it will close the Fawdon site by the end of 2023 and focus production in York and Halifax.
A company statement reads, “We are proposing changes to adapt our confectionery manufacturing for the future with a £29.4 million investment at our factories in York and Halifax and the proposed closure of our Fawdon site towards the end of 2023.
“Regrettably, these proposals put 573 roles at risk, subject to consultation.
“We have chosen to announce these proposals as early as possible to provide the maximum time for consultation with our colleagues and trade unions.
“We believe that the business case behind these proposed changes is compelling and, ultimately, the best way to keep our business competitive in the long term.
“Nevertheless, we very much regret the uncertainty this announcement will cause our people and their families and we want to make sure they are supported throughout this process.
“There is now the time and the space for all parties to engage in a constructive consultation around today’s proposals and we welcome those discussions.”
“The fact these announcements have come during a global pandemic is particularly bitter and heartless”
The unions GMB and Unite described the move as “the world’s biggest food manufacturer ruining hundreds of lives after allowing facilities to deteriorate and outsourcing production overseas.”
Ross Murdoch, GMB National Officer said, “To ruin hundreds of lives in a ruthless pursuit of profits, to the very workers who’ve kept the company going during a global pandemic, is sickening.
“Nestlé is the largest food producer in the world, with astronomical profits. It can afford to treat workers right.”
Joe Clarke, Unite National Officer for the Food and Drink Industry, said, “The news about Nestlé’s plans is a cruel body blow to the dedicated workforces, their families and, more widely, the regional economies.
“We will be asking for an urgent meeting with the management to ascertain the business rationale for these decisions from a multinational company which is highly profitable.
“The fact these announcements have come during a global pandemic is particularly bitter and heartless.”