Coca-Cola Enterprises’ (CCE’s) plans to make 47 employees at its Wakefield site redundant have caused trade union Unite to schedule a demonstration over what it believes are unnecessary job losses at its new automated warehouse in Kenmore Road.
Unite has urged CCE to rethink its compulsory job loss strategy, as more than enough staff members have offered to leave their jobs on a voluntary basis.
The redundancies are currently made up of 38 volunteers and nine people who are being made to leave.
Unite says that ten more workers - with similar skills - have voiced their willingness to leave voluntarily, so the trade union believes that there is no need for the compulsory redundancies. It is urging the soft drinks giant to be less rigid in its stance on the job losses.
The trade union has now announced that it intends to organise a demonstration over the matter. This will happen between 17:00 and 20:00 GMT today (December 19th).
Sarah Mitchell, Unite regional officer, 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 the company 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.”
A spokeswoman for CCE expressed the company’s disappointment over Unite’s decision to take action. She said that the company had worked with employee representatives in a constructive manner in order to minimise the amount of compulsory redundancies.
According to the company’s representative, CCE consulted fully with all the employees that would be affected by the firm’s decision. It also identified 19 potential new job opportunities for them and had offered support to help those being made redundant.
The company’s website states that the Wakefield plant was established in 1989 and currently employs 466 people. It is also the largest soft drinks plant by volume in Europe.