Nestle Factory Closure Confirmed in Newcastle.
Unions have hit out after the closure of the Nestle confectionery factory in Newcastle was confirmed and some production switched to eastern Europe.
Plans to close the long-established former Rowntree factory in Fawdon were first outlined last year, with the loss of around 475 jobs. Business Live are reporting that the closure was scheduled set to happen in 2023 and consultations with staff have now moved onto closure plans after Nestle rejected pleas from unions to reconsider.
Production of popular items such as Fruit Pastilles, Toffee Crisps, and Mini Eggs will be moved to Nestle plants in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Bulgaria. Other sweets will now be produced in Halifax.
The factory, which first opened in 1958, makes a wide range of products such as Rolos, Caramac, and Munchies.
GMB national officer Ross Murdoch said: “Closing this profit-making site and shifting production to Europe is completely unacceptable. This will have a devasting impact on workers and their families. Meanwhile transporting finished products from sites in Europe back to the UK – where they are consumed – will result in significant additional road and sea miles increasing pollution and environmental damage. GMB and Unite will now speak to members in Fawdon and find out what they want to do next. We will give them whatever support and resources they need to fight this.”
Joe Clarke, a national officer at Unite the Union, said: “Unite and its membership are bitterly disappointed that alternative proposals to keep the site within Nestle Fawdon open have been rejected. “We are currently seeking further information in relation to the proposal, and we will enter into dialogue on next steps imminently.”
A Nestlé spokesperson said: “The consultation around the changes we proposed in April 2021 is still ongoing.
“We said from the outset that we wanted to provide adequate time and space for these discussions and it is only right that they are held directly with our employees and trade unions and not in public. It remains a priority to support our people and their families through this process and we thank everybody for their patience. We will provide an update once the consultation is complete.”