In Brief

Is Nestle's shift to Poland the 'tip of the Brexit iceberg'?

Hundreds of jobs to go in move that puts an end to 81-year history of Blue Riband production in the UK

Nestle has announced 300 jobs will go as it moves the production of its Blue Riband chocolate wafer bar to Poland after 81 years in the UK.

"The Swiss confectioner said most of the jobs would be lost in Newcastle and York, during 2017-18, but that its sites in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and Girvan, Ayrshire, would also be affected," says The Guardian

"GMB and Unite unions said the proposed cuts were savage and unacceptable, and urged the government to intervene."

Union leaders added that workers needed reassurance that the job cuts were not the "tip of the Brexit iceberg", a reference to the drop in value of the pound since the Brexit vote last June and the corresponding increase in import costs, as well as the threat of tariffs on UK exports to Europe in the future.

Fears are growing that more companies will decide to move production outside the UK as a result of the vote to leave the EU.

Nestle, which employs more than 8,000 people in the UK, said the move was simply designed to help improve efficiency.

It said: "Our factory in Kargowa, Poland, is a centre of excellence for this type of wafer-based product and is the logical place for us to propose Blue Riband production takes place [there] in the future."

It added that its proposed changes also include amended and standardised shift patterns at each factory, says The Independent

Nestle said it would begin a 45-day consultation on the proposals with unions and workers' representatives.

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