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Nestle's decision to slash 600 jobs at two northern sites will ‘ruin hundreds of lives,’ unions warn

‘Nestle is the largest food producer in the world, with astronomical profits,’ GMB national officer Ross Murdoch says. ‘It can afford to treat workers right’

NESTLE’S decision to slash almost 600 jobs from two northern sites will ruin “hundreds of lives,” GMB and Unite warned today.

The Swiss-owned food giant announced the closure of its factory in Fawdon, Newcastle – which makes Fruit Pastilles – as well as cuts from its plant in York, which produces Kit Kats. 

The Fawdon site will close towards the end of 2023, costing about 475 jobs, with a further 98 jobs cut in York.

GMB national officer Ross Murdoch 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.

“Nestle is the largest food producer in the world, with astronomical profits. It can afford to treat workers right. 

“Instead, they’ve allowed factories to deteriorate, outsourced production overseas and now slash almost 600 jobs.

“It’s corporate greed at its worst — GMB and Unite will fight for every job.”

Unite national officer Joe Clarke said the moves were “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 management to ascertain the business rationale for these decisions from a multi-national company which is highly profitable.

“The fact these announcements have come during a global pandemic is particularly bitter and heartless.”

Nestle said it regretted the “uncertainty” the move had caused for workers and their families, but asserted: “We believe that the business case behind these proposed changes is compelling and the best way to keep our business competitive in the long term.”

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