Plans are underway to move Nestlé’s iconic Blue Riband brand production to Poland leading to the loss of nearly 300 jobs. This was disclosed by the manufacturer on April 25, 2017 (YouTube/CandyAisle).

The company’s employees in Fawdon, Girvan, Halifax, and York are facing job cuts after Nestle announced that it was planning to standardise shift patterns at all its factories. The production of Blue Riband chocolate bar will be relocated away from Fawdon.

A statement from Nestle read: “Nestlé UK is informing employees of proposals to make some changes to the factory operations within its UK confectionery business.

It further stated: “These proposals are being made by Nestlé UK to ensure that these sites operate more efficiently and remain competitive in a rapidly changing external environment. Nestlé UK appreciates that this is an uncertain time for employees and will work hard to ensure all are supported through this difficult period.”

The move has been strongly condemned by the UK’s largest unions, Unite and GMB in a statement they issued jointly.

Totally unacceptable

The GMB union described the plan as “completely unacceptable”.

The union’s General Secretary Tim Roache was quoted saying: “To shift the production of an iconic British brand like Blue Riband to Poland is completely unacceptable. Nestlé are throwing people’s lives, and those of their families, into turmoil for the sake of increasing profit margins.

GMB was angered by the prospect of those factories exporting people’s jobs instead of chocolate.

Roache concluded:  “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.”

“Another kick in the teeth”

GMB northern region’s Valerie Scott had this to say: “This is yet another kick in the teeth for the north-east economy. Pillaging our jobs and shipping them overseas looks like the worst kind of Brexit imaginable’ adding: “Under this government, it’s more the Northern Poorhouse than Northern Powerhouse.”

On its part, the Unite union stated that it will pile pressure on Nestlé UK to reconsider its plan to relocate Blue Riband production to Poland.

Unite union’s national officer Julia Long was quoted saying: “Rather than turning its back on its UK workforce, Nestlé 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 losses, and explore alternatives to its cut and run approach.”

The two unions, Unite and GMB said they will embark on a campaign geared towards saving as many jobs as possible.