The manufacturer announced proposals to close the factory early last year, in which it cited a need to reorganize and simplify its network of manufacturing sites across Europe. It also proposed to cut 98 roles at its York production site.
Workers unions Unite and GMB claimed the decision to close the plant came in spite of ‘in depth alternatives’ provided by Acuity Analysis.
Ross Murdoch, GMB national officer, said the closing of the profit making site and moving production to Europe was completely unacceptable and would have a devastating impact on workers and their families.
"Meanwhile transporting finished products from sites in Europe back to the UK – where they are consumed – will result in significant additional road and sea miles increasing pollution and environmental damage,” he added.
“GMB and Unite will now speak to members in Fawdon and find out what they want to do next. We will give them whatever support and resources they need to fight this.”
The proposal was previously criticised for its environmental impact – offshoring production of sweets such as Fruit Pastilles, Toffee Crisp and Smarties would create unnecessary food miles as they are shipped back to the UK.
Remaining in the UK
However, Nestlé said that the majority of its UK confectionery portfolio would continue to be produced in the UK and had invested £20.2m in its York factory – and a further £9.2m in its Halifax site – to “build on its expertise and equip the factory to take on the largest portion of Fawdon’s current production”.
GMB and Unite will now speak to members in Fawdon to discuss next steps.
Unite national officer Joe Clarke said: “Unite and its membership are bitterly disappointed that alternative proposals to keep the site within Nestle Fawdon open have been rejected.
“We are currently seeking further information in relation to the proposal, and we will enter into dialogue on next steps imminently.”