Theresa May pledges a 'rapid response' to Yorkshire Nestle workers at risk of losing jobs

Details of the Nestle decision emerged yesterday
Details of the Nestle decision emerged yesterday
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Theresa May has pledged a rapid response to try to get hundreds of Nestle workers at risk of redundancy back into work.

The Prime Minister said it was a worrying time for workers and their families, in the wake of Tuesday's announcement that Nestle plans to cut almost 300 jobs, mainly in York and Newcastle.

York Central MP Rachael Maskell said the announcement had been devastating for the community as she called for a special deal with Nestle similar to that negotiated with Nissan in Sunderland.

Mrs May told Prime Minister's Questions: "We should be clear that Nestle have themselves been clear that this is not a decision that was affected by leaving the European Union. They said they'd made it irrespective of that.

"But of course it's a worrying time for the workers and their families at Nestle in both York and Newcastle, and I can assure her that we're already in contact with the company to understand their plans and the next steps.

"The Business Secretary will speak with senior Nestle representatives later today.

"DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) of course stands ready to put in place their rapid response service to support any workers made redundant, by helping them back into employment as quickly as possible.

"There are various ways in which JobCentre Plus can help.

"I think what is important is that we ensure the support is there and, as I said, the Business Secretary will be speaking to Nestle representatives later today."

The proposals from the confectionery giant are for moving production of the Blue Riband chocolate biscuit to Poland.

Labour MP Ms Maskell asked Mrs May: "Over the last six months it's been announced that 2,000 jobs will be lost to York.

"Yesterday Nestle announced 300 job losses, 156 of them in my constituency - devastating for workers, their families and the community.

"Jobs, not products, being exported to the EU and, as ever, York's skilled jobs replaced by low wage, insecure work.

"In the light of the special deal at Nissan in Sunderland, will the Prime Minister meet with me, trade unions and the company to strike a special deal to save these jobs, avert the losses both now and in the future."

Commenting afterwards, she told the Yorkhire Post it was "incredible" that the Government did not seem interested in fighting to save jobs in the region.