Protest as Coca Cola cuts jobs at Wakefield plant

A protest will be held tomorrow at Coca Cola’s Wakefield bottling plant over plans to make 47 staff redundant.

By Don Mort
Wednesday, 18th December 2013, 9:48 am

The Unite union has organised a demonstration from 5pm-8pm at the site at Kenmore Road after urging the company to re-think its plans for job losses.

Unite claims enough staff have applied to leave the company voluntarily to avoid the need to make some workers compulsorily redundant.

Coca Cola Enterprises (CCE) said it was making changes to improve efficiency at the site, which opened in 1989 and employs more than 450 people.

Unite regional officer Sarah Mitchell said: “Throughout the consultation process, Unite has urged CCE to do the right thing and allow those who volunteer for redundancy to go, thus ensuring there is no need for compulsory redundancies.

“Coca Cola has received sufficient volunteers to allow them to retain the right number of staff with the right skills, but it is still using this restructuring process as an opportunity to make compulsory redundancies, and we believe this is just plain wrong.”

Coca Cola said that of 47 redundancies at the site, 38 would be voluntary and nine compulsory.

The company said it was making changes to working practices at the facility to make it more efficient.

A spokeswoman said: “We are disappointed that the Union is taking this action. We are making a number of changes at our Wakefield facility but we believe that we have worked constructively with our employee representative bodies to minimise compulsory redundancies as far as possible.”