The union called for reassurances from executives about the future of the Kitt Green plant when it emerged £140m planned for the site would be invested into factories in Spain and Poland.
Unite also claimed Spanish and Polish workers are to receive the investment originally earmarked for the UK without having to change their terms and conditions, a demand that was made of the UK workforce. Food Manufacture has approached Kraft Heinz for comment.
‘Betrayal of the workforce’
Commenting on the shift in funding away from Wigan, Unite national officer for the food and drink sector Joe Clarke said: “This is a disgraceful betrayal of this loyal workforce. They were told to make sacrifices to receive this investment, yet it has gone to Poland and Spain without any such demands being made.
“Our members are reeling from this news so we are seeking immediate, cast-iron safeguards that the UK plant and jobs are secure. We will not allow the UK workforce to be treated like this and Unite will fully support our members in any next steps that they wish to take.”
Kraft Heinz announced the proposed £140m investment in June last year, reportedly the largest food manufacturing facility in Europe. The investment would have funded the creation of 50 new jobs and further modernisation of the site’s manufacturing capabilities over the next four years.
Luis Spinardi, Site Director at Kitt Green said the proposed investment would allow the site to adopt more contemporary ways of working while maintaining high global standards for food manufacturing.
Clarke added: “The millions of UK consumers, who purchase Heinz products, will be disturbed to learn that the workers who make their favourite products are being treated so badly by Kraft Heinz.
“We will now instigate discussions with senior management at the company as to the future plans and investment for the Kitt Green site. The job security of the workforce is our priority.”