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Shocked Ribena and Lucozade factory workers hope Coleford site can be secured

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 14, 2013

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SHOCKED Coleford factory workers are hoping the future of Ribena and Lucozade in the town can be secured.

The soft drinks' makers GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are considering selling the brands for £766 million.

Moving production abroad to globalise the British brands is also an option that workers fear is on the cards.

Coleford mayor Sue Merrikin said closing the factory after 70 years would be bad news for the town.

She said: "If the brands were to be completely removed from GSK at Coleford, it would have an immense effect on the community."

Workers' concerns are being aired by their union officials from Unite, who are meeting GSK bosses on Monday for crisis talks.

Regional officer Trevor Hall said: "Our main concern is to safeguard jobs at the plant and to that end we will be interested in knowing what the future plans are for further investment in the iconic Ribena and Lucozade brands."

The multi-national company has already splashed out £70 million on expensive new bottling machinery at the factory in 2011.

But the machines could easily be moved abroad if the firm decides to shift its operations.

The fears came out of chief executive Andrew Witty's announcement last week that there would be a 'review' of operations at the facility.

But he has remained tight-lipped on what that actually means.

He said: "All options are available. The outcome of this review could be that nothing changes. I think this is pretty unlikely or else we wouldn't have started the review."

The announcement came as the firm said its turnover fell by one per cent to £26.4 billion in 2012.

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