Business

Blue Riband biscuit production to be moved to Poland

Blue Riband Image copyright YouTube

Confectionery giant Nestle plans to cut almost 300 jobs, mainly in York and Newcastle, and move production of the Blue Riband chocolate biscuit to one of its factories in Poland.

Sites in Halifax and Girvan will also be hit, but the company hopes to cut jobs through voluntary redundancies.

Nestle said it was acting to help its sites "operate more efficiently in a rapidly changing external environment".

The GMB and Unite unions have expressed their anger at the decision.

"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," said Unite national officer Julia Long.

"We will be campaigning to save as many jobs as possible and pressing Nestle to think again about these plans."

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Tim Roache, GMB general secretary, said: "To shift the production of an iconic British brand like Blue Riband to Poland is completely unacceptable.

"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."

However, a Nestle spokesman denied the proposals were anything to do with Brexit.

He told the BBC: "This move would be necessary irrespective of the decision to leave the EU."

The spokesman added that Blue Riband was one of 16 products made at the Newcastle Fawdon site and was the only one being moved "to simplify production on a very complicated site".

The announcements are proposals and are subject to a 45-day consultation with trade unions and employee representatives.

If the cuts go ahead, they would take place over the next two years.

Nestle currently employs 8,000 people in the UK.

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