Coca Cola could axe almost 300 jobs in ‘devastating blow’

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Jobs are at risk at Coca Cola’s bottling plant in Wakefield after the company warned of almost 300 redundancies UK-wide.

Coca Cola could axe 54 positions at the plant at Wakefield 41 Industrial Estate under plans to change the way it distributes its products.

Sites in Bristol, East Kilbride, North London, Northampton and Sidcup are also affected as Coca Cola consults staff on 288 redundancies.

Coca Cola said it was proposing to end direct deliveries to restaurants following a strategic review of its operation.

A spokeswoman said: “If these changes were implemented they could result in the loss of approximately 288 roles from a total workforce in Great Britain of 4,400.

“We expect these proposals could result in a reduction of approximately 54 roles from a total workforce of 520 in our Wakefield facility in Yorkshire.

“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.”

The Unite union said it was seeking clarification of the full impact of the announcement.

Jennie Formby, the union’s national officer for food and drink, said: “This news will be a devastating blow for our members and their families, especially in the current economic climate of austerity, welfare cuts and now rising unemployment.

“Cola Coca Enterprises is a highly profitable and successful global company and we will be doing everything in our power to protect jobs.”