Nestle job losses could be “tip of Brexit iceburg”, say unions

Unite and the GMB and have slammed Nestle for proposing 300 job losses as it moves production of the iconic Blue Riband chocolate biscuit to Poland.

The confectionary giant is making the savage cuts, despite raking in £21bn from sales – a quarterly increase of 0.4 per cent.

The potential job cuts will entail the loss of 143 jobs in York, 110 jobs in Fawdon in the North East, 15 jobs in Halifax and 7 jobs in Girvan, Scotland.

Following the devastating job losses announced at Diageo and Pepsico in recent weeks, the unions warn this could be the tip of the Brexit iceberg as companies use leaving the EU as an excuse to slash jobs and trample on workers’ rights.

Unite national officer for the food industry Julia Long said, “We will be campaigning to save as many jobs as possible and pressing Nestle to think again about these plans which will see the loss of hundreds of jobs and the production of an iconic biscuit shipped to Poland.

“Rather than turning its back on its UK workforce, Nestle should be investing in its UK operations and keeping production here at plants in the UK,” she added.

“Over the coming days we will be scrutinising the company’s business rationale for these jobs loses and explore alternatives to its cut and run approach.”

Tim Roache, GMB general secretary added, “To shift the production of an iconic British brand like Blue Riband to Poland is completely unacceptable. Nestle are throwing people’s lives, and those of their families, into turmoil for the sake of increasing profit margins.

“These factories should be exporting chocolate – not people’s jobs. The government needs to step in before it’s too late – and reassure millions of workers across the country this is not just the tip of the Brexit iceberg.”