World’s biggest food manufacturer ruins hundreds of lives after allowing facilities to deteriorate and outsourcing production overseas, says GMB and Unite 

Nestle is to slash almost 600 jobs across two northern sites where Kit Kats and Fruit Pastilles are produced, says GMB and Unite the union.

The confectionary giant, the biggest food producer in the world, has announced the cuts in Fawdon, near Newcastle, and York. 

Loyal Nestle workers at these sites have kept the company going – and the nation fed – through the pandemic. 

The company’s site in Fawdon, near Newcastle, which produces fruit pastilles, will close at the end of 2023 costing 475 jobs. 

Meanwhile changed working practices at the York, which produces Kit Kats, site will see 98 losses. 

Joe Clarke, Unite national officer for the food and drink industry, said: “The news about Nestle’s plans for its respective sites in Newcastle and York is a cruel body blow to the dedicated workforces, their families and, more widely, the regional economies. 

“We will be asking for an urgent meeting with the management to ascertain the business rationale for these decisions from a multi-national company which is highly profitable.  

“The fact these announcements have come during a global pandemic is particularly bitter and heartless.  

“Unite will be liaising closely with the GMB union to strongly campaign against these misguided plans whose only motive seems to be increasing profits.  

“We will also be giving maximum support to our members and their families in the coming weeks and months.” 

Ross Murdoch, GMB National Officer, said: “To ruin hundreds of lives in a ruthless pursuit of profits, to the very workers who’ve kept the company going during a global pandemic, is sickening.  

“Nestle is the largest food producer in the world, with astronomical profits. It can afford to treat workers right.   

“Instead, they’ve allowed factories to deteriorate, outsourced production overseas and now slashed 600 jobs.   

“It’s corporate greed at its worst – GMB and Unite will fight for every job.”


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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.