Coca-Cola Enterprises could cut up to 288 UK distribution jobs

The IUF affiliated Unite the Union, which represents 160 of the drivers and warehouse workers, described the news as a 'devastating blow'.

Unite the Union believes that Cola Coca Enterprises is a highly profitable and successful global company and the union will be doing everything in their power to protect jobs.

The firm employs 4,400 staff across the UK, it's principal manufacturing base, and it plans to end direct deliveries to restaurants, and that jobs could go at CCE sites in Bristol, North London, Northampton, Sidcup, Wakefield and East Kilbride.

CCE announced that they have now started a full consultation on these proposals with their employee representative bodies and the Unite trade union.

Although the company declares that ``they do not make these proposals lightly and they will, of course, be looking to minimise redundancies as far as possible and will offer support to help employees through this process``, Unite the Union reports that the company is resisting very strongly any meaningful dialogue.

Under the plans, the service will end in the "latter part" of this year, by which time "alternative distribution arrangements" will be in place, the company declared on 23 April.

A CCE spokesperson told that they propose to partner with wholesalers to offer their remaining direct-delivery customers a route to market, building on the services these third parties already provide. Under these proposals they would continue to operate a bulk and mid-bulk service.

This month, CCE said it is to open a new financial service centre in Bulgaria, leaving "some retained roles and some redundancies".