Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central
Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central

Rachael Maskell MP for York Central has announced her commitment to work with Nestle and Trade Unions to secure York confectionary jobs following today’s announcement that the firm plan to downscale their operations in the UK.

Nestle’s announcement to downsize the business in the UK, follows a continual trend of cutting good quality jobs in exchange for increasing automation and outsourcing jobs abroad. With 573 jobs in its confectionary division set to be axed, most prominently in Fawdon, Newcastle, the decline of jobs across the business is set against an upturn in profits.

Throughout the pandemic, Nestle workers have turned up and served their company, which has continued to perform well in the market, and yet, here in York 98 jobs are set to go as new technology replaces highly skilled labour in the factory. For those marked for redundancy this is a significant blow, not least as they have done all that was asked for them throughout the current crisis.

In parallel to this, the company are also seeking contractual changes from staff, a regressive step when all the evidence shows that the better workers are treated, the higher the productivity for the business.

Rachael Maskell said: “Today’s announcement will come as an immense shock to York’s Nestle workers. They were there for the company throughout this last difficult year, however Nestle’s decision to shed jobs in order to make greater profits, at a time like this, will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of people across York.

“Investment in infrastructure is always welcome, but slashing jobs instead of redeploying people elsewhere in the business is a waste of talent. Long gone are the days when Rowntree’s sought to be the mainstay of manufacturing in the city, providing economic and social purpose. Nestle today are more interested in creaming off a profit for its hedge fund managers than supporting workers and their families.

“I call on Nestle to work closely with the GMB and Unite, the organised trade unions at Nestle, to find a solution to this jobs cull. Now is an opportunity to invest in manufacturing, food science and future opportunities to bring benefit to the company, workers and the city. Having met with the company this morning, I have vowed that I will do everything within my power to see jobs sustained in York, and for the company to rethink its decision.”

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