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Union says Britvic’s decision to leave Norwich was not made recently

PUBLISHED: 20:40 15 December 2017 | UPDATED: 20:40 15 December 2017

Britvic has confirmed the closure of its Norwich factory, leading to the loss of more than 230 jobs in the city. Picture: ANDREW STONE

Britvic has confirmed the closure of its Norwich factory, leading to the loss of more than 230 jobs in the city. Picture: ANDREW STONE

Archant

Union members have hit out at Britvic’s decision to close its Norwich factory.

Ivan Mercer - regional organiser for the GMB union. Photo: Paul HewittIvan Mercer - regional organiser for the GMB union. Photo: Paul Hewitt

Ivan Mercer, GMB regional organiser, said they were bitterly disappointed at the news, but felt it was not unexpected.

“We believe this decision has been in the pipeline for at least two years and wasn’t just made recently,” he said.

“The company has not consulted meaningfully or transparently in the process and at no stage has it looked to avoid having to take this decision.”

READ MORE: Confirmed: Britvic will close its Norwich factory

He said the union had made various proposals to save Britvic money but the company had never indicated it was looking at anything other than closure.

“We are disheartened by the manner in which Britvic has gone about this - it has been a sham consultation.”

He said the union had 150 members working at the company and 250 across both sites, including Unilever.

“Unilever has behaved in a completely different manner and I do believe the company is committed to remaining in Norwich but this announcement sounds the death knell for them,” said Mr Mercer.

“If they do stay it will not be at the current site.”

READ MORE: ‘A real kick in the teeth to the city of Norwich’ - MPs react to Britvic factory closure

A number of Britvic employees approached for comment while leaving the plant on Friday said they were not allowed to speak to the media.

One employee, who declined to be named, described the mood as “ugly” following the announcement.

“Everyone is really p***** off. The mood is really bad in there.

“You don’t want to know the kind of language that’s being used. It’s ugly”

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