Unilever Restructuring Leads to Closures in UK

As part of restructuring to help manage costs in challenging economic conditions, Unilever PLC has announced it will close UK operations sites in Swansea and Bridgend, Wales and Slough, England by the end of 2013, according to reports. Additionally, the company is moving four hundred IT jobs from the UK to India, and the restructuring job cuts and associated affected contractor and third-party roles could result in approximately 800 lost jobs.

However, the company also did announce it will invest more than $60 million in revamping another UK manufacturing plant in Port Sunlight, and that revamp is expected to create about 150 jobs.

In regard to the announcement, Amanda Sourry, chairman of Unilever’s operations in the UK and Ireland, was quoted as saying, "Like many companies today, Unilever faces the challenge of creating growth opportunities against a backdrop of very tough economic conditions in Europe.”

The Swansea location is a hair care product manufacturing facility and the Bridgend location a distribution site, both purchased by Unilever through its acquisition of Alberto Culver. The location is Slough is a former Sara Lee personal care manufacturing facility that produced Radox and other bath and shower products.

Unilever said it will finalize these plans in the autumn of this year.

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