EU decision to block £10 million grant for Twinings to export hundreds of jobs overseas has today been welcomed by Andover Labour Party.
“This is a massive victory for working people across Europe and it sends a clear message to greedy company bosses who think it is ok to dump a loyal workforce and use our taxes in the form of EU grant money to relocate, said Sarah Evans, community campaigner and Andover Labour Party activist.
“It is the hard work of community campaigners, USDAW shop steward Pete Millward and Andover TUC that has won this victory, and Andover Labour party members are proud to have played an active role in this campaign.
“We congratulate the South East’s Labour MEP Peter Skinner for the leading role he has played in the European Parliament, after being contacted by campaigners to block the grant – from writing the first letter to commissioners and his persistence in securing this victory alongside North Shields Labour MEP Stephen Hughes.
“Twinings workers in Andover and North Shields are rightly angry that UK jobs have been axed, so a profitable company can chase cheap labour overseas and it is with massive regret that we couldn’t have done more to get Twinings to reverse its ill-thought-out decision.
Labour’s MEP for the South East, Peter Skinner:
“From the beginning when this was first brought to my attention by trade unionists in Andover we have been attempting to get the European Commission to change its plans to allow a grant worth many Millions of Euros for the relocation of workers to Poland from the two plants in the UK – one in the SE and the other in the NE of England.
“The loopholes used by the company to pursue the grants have now been closed by the Commission who have met with me on three separate occasions – however the impact on jobs has not been reversed.
“The announcement today is a major success of the tough lobbying of the Commission. It is a victory for the working people in Andover and particularly the trade unions especially USDAW and the Labour MEPs.
“I know that local workers are rightly angry at the way in which this affair has been played out and at the injustice of grants from European tax payers being paid to make this relocation work which have now been stopped.
“I have worked on this campaign by taking a lead at the table in negotiations with the European Commission, and alongside my colleagues in the European Parliament can feel vindicated at this reversal of the grant decision.”
See the Daily Mirror coverage: Tea firm Twinings stripped of £10 million EU grant for exporting British jobs to Poland and The Morning Star. To read more visit the Andover TUC website.