Union members put forward counter proposal as leaked documents show Britvic already offering redundancies

Entrance to the Norwich Britvic factory. Picture: Nick Butcher

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

Union members have put forward a counter proposal to stop Britvic from closing its Norwich factory.

GMB members met last night to discuss the potential closure of the Bracondale site, which could result in the loss of 249 jobs.

It comes as a leaked internal document revealed that voluntary redundancies were already being offered.

Ivan Mercer, regional organiser, said the company needed to provide a 'full and frank' consultation with staff, which was yet to happen.

Following the company's announcement, union members have put forward a counter proposal to keep the Norwich factory open.

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They suggested bringing three new production lines to the city, a carbonation plant, and to begin making the compound needed for Fruit Shoot drinks.

GMB members said the Norwich site had the 'workforce and capacity' to make it happen.

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Meanwhile, a leaked document - seen by this newspaper - outlined the savings Britvic expect the move to produce, and the two planned phases to shut down production.

The document, which was produced for a meeting held on October 10, said:

• Proposed closure of the Norwich site, in two phases, following full and proper consultation. Phase 1 proposed to be June 2018. Phase 2 proposed to be no earlier than June 2019 but before the end of September 2019;

• Benefit of Proposal: £11m – £14m (year on year);

• We propose to open a voluntary redundancy process. Open from Wednesday 11th October.

The briefing suggests 249 jobs plus a further 47 agency and temporary positions are at risk. Britvic had previously said 242 jobs were under consultation.

GMB stressed that it was not behind the leaked document.

Labour's Clive Lewis said he feared Britvic were not 'committed to a meaningful consultation'.

A Britvic spokesman said no decisions had been made regarding the Norwich site, stating they were 'proposals'.

He added: 'We have discussed with employee representatives whether they would like to, as part of the consultation process, discuss the possibility of offering voluntary redundancy in relation to the proposed reduction in headcount next summer. No voluntary redundancies have been offered.

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