Union representatives have described Coca Cola Enterprises decision to cut 288 jobs across its UK production sites as a “devastating blow”.
Jobs will be lost across Coca-Cola Enterprises’ (CCE’s) UK locations in Bristol, East Kilbride, North London, Northampton, Sidcup and Wakefield as CCE closes its Direct Store Delivery (DSD) business.
Representatives of Unite, the UK’s largest union, said that it would be seeking clarification on the decision which it described as a ‘devastating blow’. 160 of those to lose their jobs are Unite drivers and warehouse workers.
CCE makes, sells and distributes soft drinks. It sells more than four billion bottles and cans in the UK every year – producing 95 per cent of its products in the UK.
Unite national officer for food and drink Jennie Formby said: “It is too early to make a detailed analysis of the announcement. However, our immediate priority must be to get full details of the reasoning behind this decision and to examine what alternatives there could be for our members.
Ms Formby continued to say that Unite will “be doing everything in our power” to protect the jobs of employees at CCE which she described as a “highly profitable global company.”
In a statement, CCE wrote:
“Following a strategic review, we are proposing to end our direct delivery service in Great Britain. This service is primarily used by foodservice outlets and we have identified the need for a more efficient way of distributing our products to these customers.”
If the changes are implemented they could result in the loss of approximately 288 roles from a total workforce in Great Britain of 4,400.
“We do not make these proposals lightly and we will, of course, be looking to minimise redundancies as far as possible and will offer support to help colleagues through this process,” said CCE.
“Under these proposals we would end our direct delivery service towards the latter part of this year, by which time we will have put in place alternative distribution arrangements for customers.
“Until then, there will be no changes to our current operation and we will work closely with customers to ensure the highest service levels during this period of change.”