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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 August 2006, 19:44 GMT 20:44 UK
Staff told of HP factory closure
HP sauce
The bottles will retain the image of the Houses of Parliament
Staff at the HP factory in Birmingham have been told the site will definitely close with production moved abroad.

Unions campaigned against the closure plan, which will see 120 jobs go, but admitted defeat saying owners Heinz were motivated by "corporate greed".

The US firm said it had looked at all options since the closure plan was announced in May and it was not viable to keep the Aston factory open.

Heinz spokesman Nigel Dickie admitted it was "a sad day for Birmingham".

He added the sauce would still have the Houses of Parliament on its label "because of its historical association" even though it would now be made in Holland.

Heinz vice-president David Hobin said the plant would close by March next year.

There's no need for the factory to close
John Jordan

"We deeply regret having come to this difficult but necessary decision which has only been made after careful consideration of all alternatives," he said.

"It is disappointing that we have not been able to find an alternative option that would close the financial gap.

"This difficult business decision is no reflection on our employees, who have continued to demonstrate their dedication and hard work throughout these challenging times."

But members of the Transport and General Workers' Union (T&G) said they were disappointed by the decision.

'Gutted' workers

Acting national secretary John Jordan said: "There's no need for the factory to close.

"It's a case pure and simple of corporate greed. Birmingham is a highly profitable site and this move is to bail out the factory in Holland."

T&G spokesman Zeffar Qurreshi, who has worked at the plant for 29 years, said he was "absolutely gutted".

"I know other workers will feel the same," he said.

He said the union would continue to call for a boycott of HP products made outside the company.

The company has also announced the bottling of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce would move to its plant in Worcestershire.


SEE ALSO
Unions hopeful of HP Sauce rescue
24 Jul 06 |  West Midlands
Dutch support HP Sauce campaign
13 Jul 06 |  West Midlands
Protest to save HP sauce factory
03 Jun 06 |  West Midlands
HP protests taken to US embassy
24 May 06 |  West Midlands
Companies urge 'save our sauce'
15 May 06 |  West Midlands
Jobs go as HP Sauce moves abroad
09 May 06 |  West Midlands

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