Nestle has announced the closure of its Newcastle candy facility, which would result in the loss of 474 jobs.
The multinational food company said it was in negotiations with workers at the Fawdon facility, but that the plant will close in 2023.
According to a spokesperson, the majority of production now taking place in the North East will be relocated to Halifax, West Yorkshire.
The GMB and Unite unions also denounced the plan, calling it “unacceptable” to close “a profit-making factory.”
Since Nestle declared in April that it wished to stop producing at the site, the future of the former Rowntree facility has been in doubt.
Fawdon has been making candy since 1958, but according to unions, Fruit Pastilles will be manufactured in the Czech Republic and Toffee Crisps will be produced in Poland.
Other notable brands created by the facility in recent years include Rolos, Munchies, and Matchmakers.
“From the beginning, we intended to allow enough time and space for these talks, and it is only proper that they be held directly with our staff and trade unions and not in public,” Nestle said in a statement.
“Supporting our workers and their families during this process is a top priority, and we appreciate everyone’s patience.”
“Closing this profit-making factory and moving production to Europe is totally unacceptable,” GMB national officer Ross Murdoch said.
“Workers and their families will suffer tremendously as a result of this.”
When items are transported to the UK for consumption, the union claims that relocating manufacturing to continental Europe “would result in large additional road and sea miles, causing pollution and environmental harm.”
“GMB and Unite will now talk to Fawdon members to see what they want to do next.” Mr Murdoch continued, “We will provide them with whatever assistance and resources they require to combat this.”
“Our membership is very upset that alternative ideas to keep the plant within Nestle Fawdon open have been rejected,” Unite national officer Joe Clarke said.
“We’re looking for more information on the idea right now, and we’ll start talking about future steps as soon as possible.”
Nestle employs around 8,000 employees across 18 sites in the UK and Ireland, including 14 plants.