Hoover's decision earlier this week to move jobs from Dijon to Strathclyde was hailed by Tories as a triumph of UK labour competitiveness, confirming the wisdom of Britain's opt- out from the Maastricht Social Chapter, and denounced by French Socialist ministers as typical of the 'social dumping' that made the chapter so necessary.
The Prime Minister welcomed the Hoover decision. Yesterday it was left to Allan Stewart, Under-Secretary of State in the Scottish Office, to say Nestle's announcement was 'very unwelcome news'.
As French workers demonstrated in Brussels against Hoover's decision to shed 700 workers in Dijon and take on 400 in Glasgow, Nestle was telling its Scottish workers of plans to phase out production at their factory - just five miles from Hoover's expanding plant - over two years.
Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission, launched a thinly veiled attack on Britain's industrial policies: 'In France we have social peace and we didn't need to dismantle the trade unions to achieve it - unlike another country.'
A Nestle spokeswoman said Lion - a toffee crisp - sells well in France so it was logical to make it there. Costs of production at the factory in Glasgow - which dates from before 1923 - are higher than in Newcastle and
Nestle's Glasgow plant employs 550 people but the company did not say how many would be made redundant.Reuse content