Britvic rejects claims untrained labour was used to cover Norwich workers' strike

PUBLISHED: 16:34 03 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:34 03 August 2018

Entrance to the Norwich Britvic factory. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Entrance to the Norwich Britvic factory. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Archant © 2017

Drinks maker Britvic has rejected accusations it used untrained labour to cover staff shortages caused by a strike.

The GMB union, which is staging three days of strikes a week until early September, said employees had been drafted in to operate machinery without the proper training.

The manufacturer said the claim is “completely spurious” and the company “refute[s] them wholeheartedly”.

GMB members have been striking in an attempt to improve the redundancy package on offer from Britvic ahead of its factory closure next year. They say colleagues at Colman’s owner Unilever are being offered a better deal.

The union also alleged that Britvic was using managers to run essential equipment, in breach of company policy.

GMB regional organiser Ivan Mercer said the union would inform the Health and Safety Executive.

“It is extremely worrying that the company are willing to put employees’ health and safety at risk in an attempt to keep production going by using untrained labour,” he added.

A Britvic spokesman said: “We fully comply with all relevant health and safety regulations and guidelines and the safety and wellbeing of our employees, across all of our sites, is of the utmost importance to us.”

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