EU forces sugar giant Tate & Lyle into job cuts at Silvertown refinery

06:00 15 February 2012

Tate & Lyle

Tate & Lyle's giant Thames Refinery at Silvertown. Picture: Colin Grainger

Archant

Sugar giant Tate & Lyle has launched a 90-day consultation that could see the introduction of a five-day working week for the first time in its history.

It could also lead to the loss of 30 jobs. The consultation follows 12 months in which the Silvertown refinery has been operating at 60 per cent efficiency due to the effects European Commission tariffs on importing sugar cane.

It meant that the refinery only had enough raw materials to operate 240 days out of the year. For the remaining 124 days there was nothing for the staff to do. The refinery, which employs a total of 850 people, works 24 hours a day, seven days a week and only closes for Christmas Day.

Now the company is consulting its workforce over the introduction of a five-day working week.

Ian Bacon, President of Tate and Lyle Sugars, said: “This is a sad day for us, and is in no part the fault of our skilled and dedicated workforce. It is entirely due to the constraints on our raw material supply created by the European Commission.

“For over a year our refinery has been running at 60 per cent because the Commission is failing to allow cane refiners fair access to raw material. We are taking steps to address this directly with the Commission but in the meantime must look to align our production workforce to the reduced volume of raw material.

“We remain highly concerned that the Commission is not taking steps to remove the artificial constraints on our raw material supply and to create a fair market in Europe.”

Syed Kamall, Conservative MEP for London: “This London company should be allowed to import as much sugar cane as it needs.”

East Ham MP Stephen Timms said: “I am very disappointed that the company has found it necessary to look at redundancies and it is particularly worrying that this problem has arisen because the Commission has not fulfilled the forecast which it set out some years ago. “

He said he would press the Government to find out what it could do to help but was not sure if any possible intervention would be timely enough to avoid redundancies.

West Ham MP Lyn Brown, whose mother worked for Tate & Lyle, said: “The problems Tate and Lyle face are only solvable at a European Commission level. This Government must stand up for businesses in Europe and the wider international community.’

“I will be meeting with the Government Minister responsible to make sure he understands just how important this factory is for Newham.

“I will ask him what he will do to protect our jobs and support businesses in this tough economic climate.

“Mum worked in Tate’s for many years, and I am concerned to read about the proposals to reduce the workforce. It has been a good local employer for many families in Newham.

“The proposed job losses will be a tragedy for the individual and their families.”

Latest Stories

55 minutes ago
Karlton Burton and Javauntee Campbell will be sentenced at the Old Bailey today

The teenage boys who killed a market trader in Newham after a row over a stolen watch face lengthy jail terms when they are sentenced at the Old Bailey today.

Read more
The woman was taken to hospital after her fake charger exploded while she was on the phone (Picture: London Fire Brigade)

A fake iPhone charger exploded while a woman was on the phone, hospitalising a south London woman, as the fire brigade warns about buying dodgy electronics.

Read more
The men  dressed as Metropolitan Police officers to enter a house, handcuff the occupant and steal money (Photo by Graeme Robertson/Getty Images)

Two men dressed up as police officers to force their way inside a house in Wembley, handcuffing the occupant and stealing £800 from a fake search of the property.

Read more

TOP Stories

55 minutes ago
Karlton Burton and Javauntee Campbell will be sentenced at the Old Bailey today

The teenage boys who killed a market trader in Newham after a row over a stolen watch face lengthy jail terms when they are sentenced at the Old Bailey today.

The woman was taken to hospital after her fake charger exploded while she was on the phone (Picture: London Fire Brigade)

A fake iPhone charger exploded while a woman was on the phone, hospitalising a south London woman, as the fire brigade warns about buying dodgy electronics.

The men  dressed as Metropolitan Police officers to enter a house, handcuff the occupant and steal money (Photo by Graeme Robertson/Getty Images)

Two men dressed up as police officers to force their way inside a house in Wembley, handcuffing the occupant and stealing £800 from a fake search of the property.

Promotions

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London Bloggers

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.

Friday, August 22, 2014
It turns out painting is the perfect thing to do in bars

I’m somewhat of a casual, lazy and very much amateur painter and after a busy day at work, the prospect of getting all my brushes, acrylics, water and other faff out is far from appealing.

Quizzes

Do you fancy yourself as a football ground know-it-all? Try our devilishly difficult quiz!

How well do you know your football stadiums? This brand new quiz from London24 will seperate the men from the boys...

Read more
Do you know your Thames truths from the porkie pies? (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

So, you live (or work) in London, and you think you know the river well.

Read more
Diego Costa of Chelsea exchanges words with Cesc Fabregas (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

Chelsea have made several personnel changes over the course of the summer as they look to mount a squad that can challenge for the title.

Read more