Japan Tobacco plans mass redundancies in Europe
On October 7th, Japan Tobacco announced plans to restructure operations in Europe, citing declining demand and forthcoming EU legislation. 872 workers in Northern Ireland and 132 in Belgium were informed that their factories would close, and 100 workers in Germany learned that the machines they operate would be dismantled – all by the year 2017.
IUF affiliates believe declining markets and legislation on packaging sizes have little to do with the decision to close factories and move production to other European countries. The company is seeking to boost profits for shareholders through cost savings, particularly labour-cost savings.
A November 13 JTI European Works Council statement [click here] opposed the restructuring plans and demanded transparency from the company.
With local discussions ongoing, the IUF and its affiliates in the UK, Belgium and Germany have pledged full support for any proposals put forward and have requested a meeting with JTI international management.