The multi-national packaging company Amcor has announced plans to close its tobacco packaging factory in Warmley which would see 75 full-time workers lose their jobs.
Amcor, whose headquarters are in Australia, says the plain packaging legislation which came into force in the UK in May has affected production at the plant, which is now operating well below capacity.
It would not comment on a claim from an employee who told The Week In that production was being moved from the site at Tower Road North to Poland.
In a statement Amcor said: “As a global business operating in complex markets, we regularly review our Amcor Tobacco Packaging global footprint to ensure that our capacities match the needs of our customers. As a result, Amcor Tobacco Packaging has announced a proposal to close our tobacco packaging plant in Bristol.
“The proposed closure reflects the challenging economic environment, wherein tax pressure coupled with illegal trade has resulted in declining industry volumes in Europe. Increased legislation has further compounded these factors. The UK and Ireland have passed legislation which saw plain packaging introduced from 20th May this year, with France to follow suit on 1st January 2017.
“The introduction of plain packaging legislation means fewer pack formats and lower print complexity. Production at our Bristol plant has been affected, with the plant operating well below its capacity.
“Amcor are consulting with works councils and trade unions, a range of measures to support Amcor employees will form part of our consultation discussions. The proposal would affect approximately 75 full-time jobs at the Bristol plant which was acquired by Amcor in 2010.”
Jerzy Czubak, president of Amcor Tobacco Packaging, said: “The prospect of job losses is always deeply regrettable and we are committed to doing all we can to retain and support our employees.
“We are facing significant and sustained changes in Western Europe, therefore we need to consider how we optimise and adapt our operations to best meet our customer needs in this challenging operating environment”.
Supporters of plain packs say they will save lives by making smoking less attractive to young people.
Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore rebelled against the Government position and voted against the introduction of plain packaging due to concern about local jobs.