Norwich South Labour MP Clive Lewis is backing the GMB union as it raises new concerns with the Business Secretary about the fairness of Unilever and Britvic consultations on the future of their Norwich operations.

Responses to Freedom of Information requests to the Department of Business made by the GMB have according to the union revealed clear discrepancies between what the Department of Business has been advised, and what was, and was not shared by Unilever with the Staff Consultation Group both during the company’s initial internal review process and subsequent formal HR1 consultation.

Unilever appears to have deliberately withheld information from the initial review process, despite advising the Department of Business to the contrary.

Unilever actively excluded GMB and Unite Officers from the formal HR1 Consultation process.

The union also has ongoing concerns with consultations held by Britvic which informed that company’s decision to leave Norwich.

Clive Lewis said:

“The GMB raised the alarm with the Business Secretary about Britvic’s consultation process almost six month’s ago. And now it seems that Unilever has played fast and loose with their own consultation too.

It’s the government’s job to make sure consultation processes are fair to workers threatened with losing their jobs. As the story of these two closures has unfolded the Tories have sat on their hands as up to 1,000 jobs and nearly £10M worth of wages and incomes are disappeared from the local economy. So is it any surprise they can’t even get their acts together to ensure fair play on the consultations?

Norwich North Tory MP Chloe Smith has recently resurfaced in the local media talking about alternative proposals and visions for Norwich food manufacturing. If that really means senior Government intervention and support for our city then all I can say is better late than never.”