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Last Updated: Friday, 23 April, 2004, 06:17 GMT 07:17 UK
MP's bid to save chocolate jobs
Terry's factory
York has been synonymous with chocolate for more than 200 years
Talks are to take place in a bid to prevent a famous chocolate factory from closing with the loss of 300 jobs.

York MP Hugh Bayley is to meet bosses at the Terry's factory following Monday's closure announcement.

Mr Bayley will argue that removing Terry's association with York would lessen the impact of the firm's products, leading to a loss of sales.

Terry's owners, Kraft Foods, has said it plans to transfer production to Sweden, Belgium, Poland and Slovakia.

Board presentation

The GMB Union has argued that the company would be better served by moving to a new purpose-built factory in the York area.

Spokesman John Kirk said the union would be building a case for a site move within York, and was waiting for a financial breakdown of the costs involved from Kraft.

Once it has the figures, members will be presenting their case to the board.

Mr Kirk told BBC News Online: "I'm hoping for a positive reaction. I was looking at statements from the likes of the council and they indicated they were looking at ways to support the staff."

Commons statement

He said the union would be working with the council and local chamber of commerce to examine what grants might be available to strengthen its case.

Commons leader Peter Hain expressed sympathy over the closure of the factory when the issue was raised by Hugh Bayley in the house on Thursday.

Mr Bayley told MPs the factory had been making chocolate in the city for 240 years and raised concern that manufacturing jobs were continuing to be lost in Britain.

Mr Hain said: "It is a very serious situation with the job losses... That is a body blow in your constituency."




SEE ALSO:
Terry's plans to close York site
19 Apr 04  |  North Yorkshire
Terry's closure 'will hit city'
20 Apr 04  |  North Yorkshire


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