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£176 Billion Nestle Could Keep Blue Riband In Uk For £1 Million

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Union campaign to save hundreds of jobs as Shadow Minister reveals there are more questions than answers from this Government.

GMB is calling on the Government to act now to save 300 Blue Riband jobs, give UK manufacturing reassurances as Brexit looms and come clean on how much they knew about the job cuts back in April.

Nestle, a global confectionary giant, is worth £176 billion [1] and is embarking on a £16 Billion share buyback scheme. [2]

Meanwhile Nestle UK alone made £86 million in profit last year [3].

In April, Nestle UK announced it was shifting production of the famous chocolate bar to Poland, which would lead to more than 100 job losses at the production plant in Fawdon - and up to 300 UK-wide.

But during consultation meetings with Nestle UK, GMB learnt the company could keep production and save 300 jobs in the UK for a one-off capital investment of just over £1million.

On June 28, Shadow BEIS Minister Bill Esterson raised the question of when the Government will be meeting with Nestle UK representatives with the aim of stopping these potential job losses at Nestle UK and Blue Riband production.

The answer from Tory Minister Claire Perry on July 3 revealed that they were aware of the situation and had met with the company as early as April:

“The Secretary of State has discussed Nestlé’s UK jobs and investment outlook with the company’s management as recently as April 2017.” [4]

Blue Riband has been made in Britain since 1936 and is primarily consumed by the UK market - meaning it will have to be exported BACK into this country if production moves to Eastern Europe.

The potential job cuts are as follows:

York, Yorkshire – 143 jobs

Fawdon, North East – 110 jobs

Halifax, Yorkshire – 15 jobs

Girvan, Scotland – 7 jobs

Following the devastating job losses announced at Diageo [5] and Pepsico [6] in recent weeks, the unions warn this could be the tip of the Brexit iceberg as companies use leaving the EU as an excuse to slash jobs and trample on workers’ rights.

Eamon O’Hearn, GMB National Officer, said:

“The job losses at food giants like Nestle UK and Pepsi Co are just the tip of the iceberg if companies are not given guarantees on Brexit from this Government, especially on any future trade tariffs.

“Losing nearly 700 jobs from the North East and York will have a devastating impact on workers, their families and the local economy.

“If Government Ministers met and knew about the job losses at Nestle UK as far back as April, it begs more questions – what did this Government know and why hasn’t it acted already to stop these manufacturing job losses?

“Why did they stay silent during the election and not stand up for these workers and their communities? “We will be working with MPs to push for answers and action.

“The UK food and drink industry is worth billions to our economy and employs nearly half a million people, so this Government cannot afford to sit on its hands and continue to do nothing.

“UK manufacturing workers deserve better, especially when they see Nestle investing millions in Spanish sites to renovate production lines.” [7]


Contact: GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at

Notes to Editors


[2] Nestle UK accounts ending December 2015, page 6.


[4] ”

[5] 'Gross Betrayal' Over Diageo Job Cuts

Thursday, April 20, 2017

GMB Scotland has accused the UK Government of ‘a gross betrayal’ of drinks manufacturing workers after Diageo announced plans to cut more than 100 jobs across its Scottish operations due to Brexit concerns.

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Previous press release

Nestle Plans 300 Job Cuts

 Tuesday, April 25, 2017

‘Export chocolate, not jobs’ urge unions.

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