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Colman’s staff deserve to find out future soon

PUBLISHED: 16:37 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:22 04 January 2018

Colman's Mustard made by Unilever.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Colman's Mustard made by Unilever. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

Workers at the Colman’s factory in Norwich have already endured 11 long weeks of uncertainty – but it seems their wait will go on.

They have been left in limbo since October 3, when site neighbour Britvic announced its proposals to close its factory at Carrow Works.

That in turn led Colman’s owner Unilever to launch its own review of the viability of the site if Britvic were to move out – news which was confirmed last week.

MORE: Colman’s workers will have to wait until the new year to find out factory’s fate

The 113 employees at Colman’s, who maintain a 203-year-old link between Norfolk and arguably its most famous brand, must now wait until the New Year to find out if they have a long-term future in their jobs.

Since doubt was first cast on that future, we have campaigned passionately for the retention of both factories, arguing that they are an intrinsic part of our history and heritage – as well as a valued contributor to our regional economy.

MORE: Britvic workers told of job losses on same day as company Christmas dinner

And all is not lost for Colman’s, despite Britvic’s decision. There are options on the table – from the new food hub being developed at Easton, to a site near Norwich Airport, or even staying on at the existing factory.

These negotiations take time. But those whose livelihoods hang in the balance deserve to know as soon as possible what their future holds. We urge Unilever to take note of the esteem in which Colman’s is held in Norfolk, and the support for the jobs to stay here – and to swiftly make the right decision.

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