Britvic/Unilever Norwich- GMB

2018 Eastern regional Conference passed the following motion.

This conference condemns the decision of Britvic the owners of the historic Carrow site of Robinson’s soft drinks, to close the site in 2019 after 92 years. This decision has forced Unilever the owners of Coleman’s Mustard to close their operation as they share the same site. The consultation around the closure was a sham with the company deliberately withholding financial information from the consultative group making it impossible for them to present viable alternative to closure.

Two thirds of the workforce (240 employees) at Norwich Robinson’s are GMB members, yet Britvic refused to allow full-time GMB officials to represent their members in the consultation group. Only GMB workplace representatives were allowed to join the group and were deliberately outnumbered with just four representatives out of a total of 19.

Once it became clear that the decision to close the plant would not be retracted the workers were hit by the news that Britvic would not offer them comparable redundancy packages to colleagues in Unilever (Robinson’s were previously been owned by Unilever).

The GMB has also become aware that Britvic are already exporting ingredients to a plant in France so that the finished products can then be re-imported back to Britain.

This conference thanks Clive Lewis MP for attending the Britvic AGM and raising the workforce’s concerns.

This conference calls on Britvic negotiate with the GMB to provide the workforce with comparable redundancy packages in their colleagues in Unilever

This conference agrees to support the GMB in its campaign against Britvic including encouraging the boycott of Robinson’s drink.

This conference calls on the Norwich City Labour Group and Norwich Labour Party to campaign with the GMB so we can ensure the best possible deal for our members and seek a future for the site that provides employment opportunities for those facing redundancy.

Following debate the resolution was agreed unanimously by conference delegates.

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