Welcome to your local community website...
Unions unsuccessful in bid to stop Nestle factory closure
NESTLE has confirmed it will move production out of Hayes, despite a last ditch bid by union representatives to save the factories and 230 jobs.
The Swiss food giant started a three-month consultation with employees at the Hayes plant in January, after announcing its plans to close the North Hyde Gardens facility by 2014, centralising all of its coffee production to a new £310million facility in Tutbury, Derbyshire.
More than half of the workers are members of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW), with a minority in Unite.
Representatives from the two unions, working with senior managers, drew up seven different ways Nestlé could safeguard operations at the Hayes site and avoid closure.
The unions suggested the company could spend a lot less money and improve the factory to keep it open, to meet demand for freeze-dried coffee for the UK market.
The suggestions were rejected.
Nestlé said in a statement: "After very careful consideration, Nestlé has concluded that the Hayes employees' proposals do not meet the requirements for the business, and it is therefore the company's intention to proceed with its initial proposal of building a new freeze-dried coffee plant in Tutbury."
John Bond, a senior steward at USDAW, said: "We put up a good fight, and I don't think they were expecting us to come prepared with detailed plans that met all their criteria.
"We were given very shallow reasons why they didn't want what we were proposing. They said it wasn't sustainable.
"Nestlé want everything under the same roof, but if they spent a couple of million pounds here they could keep it running for another 10 years and still produce all the coffee they need.
"The company spent £10m on a new jar line just a few years ago, and many people thought that investment meant their jobs would be safe."
Negotiations about severance and worker transfer will now get under way.
Staff can apply for posts at the new Derbyshire factory, but Mr Bond said this was scant consolation for many.
We'd like to hear from you. Send your stories, pics and videos