Following Essentra’s announcement that it is planning to close its UK filters factory on South Tyneside by the end of this year, the Unite union has said it will leave ‘no stone unturned’ in its bid to save jobs, according to a Shields Gazette story relayed by the TMA.
Unite’s regional officer, Mark Sanderson, said that industrial action would be launched if needed so as to protect as many jobs as possible and to enhance the redundancy packages for the union’s members who might be made redundant.
Sanderson said that suitable jobs were few and far between in Jarrow, where the factory is located.
Unite was said to represent about 40 workers at the company.
Essentra announced earlier this year that it planned to close the Jarrow factory with the loss of about 200 jobs.
It is planning to move production to Hungary.
On making the closure announcement, the company said that it had begun a 45-day consultation period to discuss the site closure with those affected, though there was no suggestion that the discussions would reduce the number of job losses.
At the time of the initial announcement, Essentra Europe managing director Hugh Ross was quoted as saying that cigarette volumes in Western Europe had declined by almost 30 percent during the past 10 years.
Consumer demand was shifting from ‘mature Western countries to the more dynamic, developing markets in Eastern Europe’.
Cigarette companies that bought filters from Essentra had responded to this trend by relocating production to Central and Eastern Europe.
Only a small percentage of the current filter production at the Jarrow facility was destined for the UK market.