Sir George said he was sad to hear of the proposed job losses announced by Twining (see below)
"This is a blow for all who work on the packing side at Twinings, who will not know who will lose their job for some time. I have every sympathy with them in their uncertainty. Twinings are one of the towns best-known employers and have done a lot for the town since they came here a long time ago. I know they will do all they can to minimise the job losses locally. I am planning to meet them shortly"
Sir George went on to say
"Many of the job losses in the town so far have been because of the recession in the UK. But these ones are not due to people in the UK buying less tea from Twinings; but because the UK is a less competitive place than it was for production for the overseas market. This is no reflection on those who work for Twinings, but on changes introduced either by Government or by the EU. Even when we emerge from recession - which I hope will be soon - we will continue to lose jobs like these unless we address our competitive position in world markets. We must look at our tendency to over-regulate and over-tax if we are to regain the position we once held."
Twinings consolidates its UK production in Andover
2nd November 2009
TWININGS CONSOLIDATES ITS UK PRODUCTION IN ANDOVER
Twinings today announced a proposal to consolidate its manufacturing operations for the UK market in Andover. The business plans to invest in upgrading its Andover site to prepare for future growth in the UK.
The proposed changes are expected to increase capacity at the Andover plant. As part of the proposal, Twinings is considering closing its North Shields site in September 2011 and moving production for the UK market to its plant in Andover. The business will also be relocating some of its manufacturing operations closer to its major overseas markets.
Due to the proposed changes, a period of collective consultation will now begin with all employees working in manufacturing at the Andover site which may result in around 129 job losses, which is less than a quarter of the total workforce. None of Twinings’ Head Office employees in Andover are affected by this proposal. If the proposal goes ahead it is anticipated that most jobs losses would not take effect until 2011.
Marcus Cotter-Stone, International Supply Director, said: “We understand that this announcement may cause concern for some of our employees. This is a very difficult but necessary step which will allow Twinings to remain competitive in our markets worldwide and take full advantage of future growth opportunities.
“We plan on concentrating UK manufacturing production in the UK and increasing capacity and investment in Andover. Under the current proposal the Andover plant will take over production for the UK market because it has the capacity to support the long term growth of Twinings’ business in the UK.
“Whilst we have had some overseas manufacturing for decades, the majority of our tea is imported and packaged here in the UK prior to being re-exported; and this is not efficient. As two-thirds of our sales are overseas, we need to locate our manufacturing operations in cost effective locations, closer to markets. It is important to emphasise that this proposal does not affect the Twinings people drink in the UK, which will continue to be manufactured in here.
“If the proposal is to go ahead every effort will be made to support affected Andover employees including a retraining programme, outplacement support, opportunities for other roles within the ABF group, and enhanced redundancy packages.
“There will also be a high degree of consultation with staff and an open and transparent process regarding new roles for remaining employees.”
Twinings is working closely with Union and employee representatives throughout the consultation process to ensure all staff are kept fully informed of developments.