Twinings offers bonuses and ‘sightseeing trips’ to workers setting-up Polish site

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags North shields Money Twinings

Twinings offers bonuses and ‘sightseeing trips’ to workers setting-up Polish site
Twinings has revealed that UK workers facing redundancy who help establish operations at a new Polish factory will have all their expenses paid, receive extra salary and sightseeing trips.

The voluntary scheme is open to workers facing redundancy at Twinings facilities in North Shields (263 staff) and Andover (129); it follows a decision to consolidate UK production in Andover, transfer operations to a new €45m (£37.7m) Polish site at Swardierz and expand a Chinese facility.

A Twinings spokeswoman told that staff signing up to the scheme would receive additional salary payments of £150 per week “on top of existing salary”​, while all transfers, travel, accommodation and meals would also be paid.

Sightseeing trips

“Extra performance-related pay will also be available, while the company will lay on sightseeing trips so employees can see some of Poland​,​she said.

Precise details of dates were as yet unclear, due to a fluid timetable relating to the transfer of equipment from North Shields to Poland, she added. understands that the working trips will begin around November/December this year, with workers able to travel home every other weekend.

But Peter Millward, Twinings shop steward at USDAW Andover, was unimpressed by the offer: “I think all this shows is the company’s utter disregard and contempt for a loyal workforce that has served them well over so many years.

“I’ve made my views known, I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. The scheme is voluntary, but then workers in Newcastle were told by the union last week that it was a ‘reasonable request’ to train new Polish workers visiting their site.

‘Utterly derisory’

“I think it​ [the £150 weekly premium] works out at about three pounds per hour, which is utterly derisory. The money is insufficient, and having to train the counterparts who will replace you is an insult.

“Personally, I’m saying ‘no’ to the offer, but many union members with mortgages to pay have no choice. Twinings are even saying it will ‘look good on your CV’​, as well as potentially provide up to six months extra work.”

Millward explained that, of the 129 Andover-based staff threatened with redundancy from May 2011, around 50% of those affected were production staff.

“Marcus Cotter Stone ​[International supply director, Twinings] is telling everyone who will listen that the reason for the Polish move is to move closer to key markets, but 44% of the global market ​[for Twinings tea] is based in the UK and France.”

Twinings was heavily criticised by USDAW last week​, for failing to consult the union over plans to bring Polish workers to the UK for training by the North Shields staff they will replace.

Related news

1 comment

Above article

Posted by Peter Millward,

I would like to point out that Twinings say it is a reasonable offer and NOT the Union.

Report abuse

Follow us

Featured Jobs

View more


Food Manufacture Podcast

Listen to the Food Manufacture podcast