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East Kilbride News - - FRONT PAGE -

Work­ers who are fac­ing re­dun­dancy at Coca-Cola bot­tling plants in Eng­land could be re­de­ployed to East Kil­bride.

The drinks gi­ant is plan­ning to close two of its UK sites next year with the loss of nearly 300 jobs.

The proposal would af­fect the man­u­fac­tur­ing site in Mil­ton Keynes, Buck­ing­hamshire, where 234 jobs are on the line, with a fur­ther 54 posts un­der threat at its dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre in Northamp­ton.

Coca-Cola En­ter­prises said the pro­posed changes would bring about greater ef­fi­ciency and revealed 121 roles could be cre­ated at other sites with po­ten­tial re­de­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

How­ever, the firm could not con­firm how many work­ers were mov­ing to the East Kil­bride fac­tory at Col­lege Mil­ton at this stage.

Trade union Unite has vowed to fight pro­pos­als they have branded “dis­ap­point­ing”.

A Coca-Cola spokes­woman said: “We know [this] news will be up­set­ting for our peo­ple at these sites, and our im­me­di­ate pri­or­ity is to sup­port them through­out the con­sul­ta­tion process.

“We are proud of our long-stand­ing links with both towns and have not made these pro­pos­als lightly.

“How­ever, we be­lieve the pro­posed changes are nec­es­sary as they would pro­vide sig­nif­i­cant pro­duc­tiv­ity im­prove­ments and cre­ate greater ef­fi­ciency across our man­u­fac­tur­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion oper­a­tions in Great Bri­tain.

“If these pro­posed changes are im­ple­mented they could re­sult in the to­tal loss of 288 roles, and the sites would close in 2019.

“At the same time, we are propos­ing to trans­fer pro­duc­tion and ware­hous­ing to other GB sites. We ex­pect to cre­ate 121 ad­di­tional roles across our man­u­fac­tur­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion net­works, pro­vid­ing po­ten­tial re­de­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for im­pacted col­leagues.”

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