Responding to the announcement that around 200 jobs may be at risk at Britvic, and that Unilever subsequently will be reviewing its operation in Norwich, city MP Chloe Smith has called on DWP Ministers for support for employees.
She has contacted Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Work, who has responsibility for those at risk of falling out of work, to highlight the risk of redundancy for local workers.
District Manager Julia Nix of the local Jobcentre Plus has confirmed to Chloe and the Minister that JcP has swiftly offered the employees and the companies a "rapid response" service to help people find new work if they are made redundant. This scheme has seen considerable success in other local redundancy situations.
"These announcements are obviously very worrying for employees. First of all it is for the companies to look at every option to see if the jobs can be kept. I want to see good jobs like these stay in Norwich, at both Britvic and in the historic Colman's factory. However, as additional reassurance I know constituents will find it helpful to see that support is available if redundancies are made."
Chloe has acted promptly since the news to make contact with employees, both companies, the LEP, and the GMB union to support her constituents. She was one of the first to back the EDP/Evening News campaign to save the factories. She adds:
"I stand ready to support my constituents in any way at this very anxious time."