Banbury MP 'disappointed' over decision for redundancies at coffee factory
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The MP spoke to Edward Tansill earlier this morning (Thursday, November 16) to discuss the proposal for changes to the factory, following the shock announcement earlier this week that owners JDE (Jacobs Douwe Egberts) will move coffee production to sites in the Netherlands and Germany.
Staff were shocked to hear the news about the decision, which will result in around 250 roles in the production section of the factory being put at risk of redundancy.
Victoria said: “JDE has a long history in our town, employing many generations of families since the factory first opened in 1964. For some time now, the plant has been the least competitive JDE facility. However, Ed explained to me that the proposals to shift the focus to coffee packaging will help ensure that Banbury remains a key site within the JDE estate.
“It is clearly important that all associates who are facing the prospect of redundancy have the opportunity to have their views heard and are offered support as they seek to find alternative employment. Ed assured me that a range of measures will be in place to support associates throughout the consultation process, which will start on November 28 and will run for a minimum period of 45 days. Both elected representatives and Unite the Union’s Joint Negotiation and Consultation Committee will be involved throughout. I understand that the initial redundancy package to be proposed is generous, offering well above the statutory level.”
Production at the Banbury site is scheduled to come to an end on February 29, 2024, and the factory's research and development labs will also be transferred to a location in the Netherlands.
Victoria said: “I know this will be an extremely difficult time for associates and their families. I made it clear to Ed that they must be given as much support as possible so that they have a clear plan and alternative job opportunities are identified quickly. We are fortunate to have a very active Jobcentre in the town who I know will be happy to assist if necessary. JDE have also said that they will host a Jobs Fair with local employers, many of whom I am sure will be interested in the skillset of the associates currently working at the plant.”
“I remain disappointed about the decision but know that it has not been taken lightly. My conversation with the plant director left me feeling reassured that he will do what he can to make the transition as smooth as possible for all those affected. If anyone has specific concerns, please do get in touch with me directly via [email protected].”
A spokesperson for JDE said on Tuesday: “Banbury has long been associated with coffee and we are proud that there will be a continued presence in the town. Our decision to stop processing at Banbury has not been taken lightly and all other possibilities were rigorously assessed. It in no way reflects the hard work and dedication of all who work at Banbury, and we are working to support all impacted associates.”