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Nescafe factory workers will start exodus in 2014
DOOMED Nestle workers in Hayes will not start their exodus this year.
The first of the long-serving employees are now due to leave in early 2014.
Redundancy packages are still being negotiated for the majority of the 230 staff who were told this time last year the company would be closing its Nescafe factory in North Hyde Gardens, Hayes, which first opened 100 years ago.
Production is moving to a modern site in Staffordshire.
It was anticipated the first workers would be leaving this year, but the phased transfer will now happen in early 2014, with the site due to close for good late next year.
John Bond, of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW), which represents the majority of the affected staff, told the Gazette: "We have negotiated a very good deal for the people who are leaving, and we've managed to get a loyalty bonus scheme in place for those who have been here for a while, based on them hitting their targets."
Nestlé has given Hayes staff, who have been at the company for more than a decade on average, the opportunity to resume their careers at the Tutbury site in Staffordshire but Mr Bond said very few were considering making the move.
"The main problem is that people are being asked if they want to move when they don't know what their wages will be.
"It won't be as much as they are getting here, that's for sure.
"Housing may be cheaper, but people still have to pay the mortgage and buy groceries."
USDAW unsuccessfully tried to persuade the company to keep production in Hayes by showing that it could be practical and cost effective. The factory produces all the Nescafe coffee for the UK market - about 12,000 tonnes a year.
"We can make the amount of coffee [Nestlé] needs for the UK, and 10 per cent more if needed," said Mr Bond.
"If you have got the facilities and the people with the know-how, why try and fix it?"
A Nestle spokesperson said: "We are continuing individual discussions with employees, our priority being to focus on the support we can offer them in finding alternative jobs within Nestlé or jobs with other local employers."
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