Unite slams betrayal of Kraft Heinz Wigan workforce as promised £140 million investment is now earmarked for European sites
- Wednesday 9 March 2022
Unite the union is today (Wednesday 9 March) seeking cast-iron reassurances from top Kraft Heinz executives about the future of its Kitt Green plant in Wigan, after the firm redirected £140 million of promised investment to plants in Spain and Poland.
Further, it has emerged that the Spanish and Polish workers are to receive the investment originally earmarked for the UK without having to change their terms and conditions, a demand that was made of the UK workforce.
Unite national officer for the food and drink sector Joe Clarke said: “This is a disgraceful betrayal of this loyal workforce. They were told to make sacrifices to receive this investment yet it has gone to Poland and Spain without any such demands being made.
“Our members are reeling from this news so we are seeking immediate, cast-iron safeguards that the UK plant and jobs are secure.
“We will not allow the UK workforce to be treated like this and Unite will fully support our members in any next steps that they wish to take.”
The plant, one of biggest food processing sites in Europe, makes the iconic Heinz tomato ketchup and employs more than 1,000 workers.
Joe Clarke added: “The millions of UK consumers, who purchase Heinz products, will be disturbed to learn that the workers who make their favourite products are being treated so badly by Kraft Heinz.
“We will now instigate discussions with senior management at the company as to the future plans and investment for the Kitt Green site. The job security of the workforce is our priority.”
Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers' living standards.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065.
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Unite is the leading union in the UK and Ireland, dedicated to defending and improving members' jobs, pay and conditions. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.