Unite the Union has called for urgent talks with Unilever after it announced the sale of its tea business to a private equity firm.
Unilever confirmed the £3.79bn sale of its tea division – including household names such as PG Tips and Lipton – to CVC yesterday following an auction process.
Unite pointed to CVC’s investment in the now-defunct retail chain Debenhams and said it wanted assurances on job security and pay.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The story of private equity buy-outs in the UK very often has a fatal pattern of debt loading, asset stripping and job cuts as short-term shareholder dividends soar. We will not allow another case of corporate betrayal to ruin another iconic product.
Unite has been negotiating protected terms and conditions for workers at Unilever’s tea factory at Trafford Park, Manchester. The union said it would be seeking “a cast iron guarantee”, for the future of the site.