More than 100 jobs to go in North East as Nestle plans to move Blue Riband production overseas - unions

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Production of an iconic Nestle biscuit is set to move to Poland, cutting around 300 jobs - according to two unions.

GMB and Unite have slammed Nestle for the proposal, which would affect jobs in the North East, Yorkshire and Scotland.

The proposals were revealed today. Picture: PA

The proposals were revealed today. Picture: PA

The Blue Riband biscuit has been made in Britain since 1936 and is primarily consumed by the UK market. It will have to be exported back into this country if production moves to Eastern Europe.

The potential job cuts are understood to be as follows:

Fawdon, North East – 110 jobs

York, Yorkshire – 143 jobs

Halifax, Yorkshire – 15 jobs

Girvan, Scotland – 7 jobs

Valerie Scott, GMB Northern Region, hailed the move as a "kick in the teeth" for the region.

She said: “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.

"Under this Government it’s more the Northern Poorhouse than Northern Powerhouse.”

Nestle said in a statement: "These proposals span four different sites: York, Fawdon, Halifax and Girvan and may result in a reduction of 298 roles, predominantly at York and Fawdon, through 2017 and 2018. It is expected that these would be achieved through voluntary redundancies.

"The proposed changes include amended and standardised shift patterns at each factory and, at Fawdon, the most complex of Nestle's UK confectionery sites, the transfer of Blue Riband production to a Nestle factory in Poland. This would mean being able to simplify and focus Fawdon's operation.

"These proposals are being made by Nestle UK to ensure that these sites operate more efficiently and remain competitive in a rapidly changing external environment.

"A 45 day consultation on these proposals will commence as soon as possible with trade unions and employee representatives. Nestle UK appreciates that this is an uncertain time for employees and will work hard to ensure all are supported through this difficult period."

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.”