Unions and MPs ask UB to open up about proposed India move

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United Biscuits faces mounting opposition to restructuring plans that opponents warn will lead to 170 UK jobs moving to India.

Unite has collected more than 3,000 signatures on a petition opposing the move, which would see 55 finance jobs go at the Binns Road site in Liverpool.

It also met with the company and Merseyside MPs this week. "Our meeting with MPs was extremely well attended and very promising," said Unite regional officer Debbie Brannan. "But our meeting later in the day with UB was less than productive. They won't give out any information as they say they don't have the figures being requested. But if this proposal is going to their Board next week, that seems hard to believe."

Local MP and Defra minister of state Jane Kennedy is seeking a meeting with the company to clarify the situation. "I would like to meet with the chief executive, if possible, to express concern on behalf of all Liverpool MPs about how our constituents - their employees - are being treated," she said.

Knowsley North and Sefton East MP George Howarth has also agreed to table an Early Day Motion supporting the workers.

UB insisted no decisions had yet been made. "We constantly review our operations to ensure the business can continue to deliver excellent value to consumers," said a spokeswoman.

"As has always been our practice, we communicate directly with our employees and the labour unions on all issues that affect them. No decisions have been made about any restructuring programmes."

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