The Local Democracy Reporting Service was contacted by several employees at the Nestlé facility in Fawdon, which is scheduled to close with the loss of around 500 jobs next year, after being informed they would have to work through the state funeral on Monday, September 19.
Some workers had hoped the firm would make an exception for the historic event, despite the plant often operating on bank holidays and the sweets manufacturer’s claim that it must maintain operations to “guarantee the continued supply of food and drink.” An employee described the decision as “another kick in the teeth” for the workforce, who were already in shock with the decision to close the facility in 2023 and move manufacturing to locations in the Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria, and West Yorkshire. Nick Cott, a local councilman, urged Nestlé to permit employees to observe a “day of national importance,” when many stores and other establishments are scheduled to close out of respect for the king.
This does go along with the tough situation that the employees in Fawdon are currently in, where they are unsure of their futures because the plant is closing. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect Nestle to give its employees a few hours to reflect and join the rest of the country. In Fawdon, Nestlé, which has a royal warrant dating back more than a century, produces well-known products including Rolos, Toffee Crisps, Caramac, and Fruit Pastilles. The business said that it will be displaying coverage on TVs in the factory’s break rooms to accommodate employees who wish to take the bank holiday off to attend the burial. It is anticipated that employees of Nestlé who work on the bank holiday would be compensated with a future day off. When the former Rowntree facility closes down the following year, around 475 jobs will be lost.