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Jobs go at Nestlé Rowntree

By Rick Pendrous , 06-Mar-2006

Nestlé Rowntree is cutting 275 jobs in the UK, including a number within its manufacturing operations, following speculation for several years about its operations here.

Job losses will fall across the company’s head office and manufacturing sites at York and Fawdon in the North East. It is also planned to transfer the manufacture of Munchies from York to Fawdon within the next few months.

Analysts have for some time questioned the company’s strategy in the UK as it moved ahead with global restructuring of its operations. Meanwhile, those involved in manufacturing at individual UK plants have felt under constant pressure to raise their efficiency levels against other plants across the group, including those in continental Europe.

Nestlé's confectionery operation employees around 3,500 in Britain, mainly in York. Fears about jobs at the York factory were raised a couple of years back when the decision was made to close the Kraft-owned Terry’s chocolate factory in the city and transfer production to Sweden and Poland.

Cuts in the UK confectionery sector have also been made by Cadbury Schweppes at its Bournville plant in Birmingham and Mars, which announced plans last year to close its Liverpool Road plant in Slough with the loss of 500 jobs.

Nestlé claimed rising energy and materials costs in the highly competitive confectionery sector were major contributory factors for its decision. “We are responsible for making some of the best loved confectionery brands in the UK,” said Nestlé Rowntree md Paul Grimwood. He added the restructuring was “about building the long-term manufacture of these brands in the UK”

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