UK – America-based multinational food company Kraft Heinz has reallocated US$183.38 million investment meant to bring Heinz Ketchup production back to the UK to other facilities in Spain and Poland.
The decision to reallocate funds was reached after workers at a Kraft Heinz UK factory rejected new working practice measures proposed by management in order to implement the new lines and backed by union bosses.
The GBP140m (US$183.8m) cash injection was destined for the company’s Kitt Green plant in Wigan in northwest England.
If investment plans had gone through, the facility would have been expanded to create new lines for the production of the Heinz Ketchup.
Kraft Heinz said at the time up to 50 new jobs could have been created at the Kitt Green factory.
Without employee support, Kraft Heinz however decided to move the investment to Spain and Poland.
Local news outlet Wigan Today said it had been contacted by workers at the plant who said it was conditional that they accept a pay cut in order for the sauce production deal to go through.
A Kraft Heinz spokesperson has however refuted this claim saying, “there were no pay cuts that were part of the terms and conditions changes that were proposed and balloted upon by employees.”
Trade union Unite told Wigan Today the revised contracts involved amendments to shift patterns and not pay cuts.
“A decision has been taken for the current sauces investment to be made in our Alfaro and Pudliszki factories based in Spain and Poland respectively,” Kraft Heinz said.
The company however vowed to “continue with our focus and dedication in driving the improvements needed for us to continue our journey at Kitt Green to be exceptional in everything we do”
It also noted that it was working to ensure that the right level of investments continues to be made at Kitt Green which remains one of the most important facilities within its network.
Earlier, Kraft Heinz said it is suspending all new investments in Russia, as well as all exports and imports of Kraft Heinz products into and out of Russia.
Kraft Heinz sells ketchup and other condiments in Russia but doesn’t disclose sales or profit for the country, but its exposure is relatively small, according to regulatory filings.
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