Tobacco giant to close Southampton factory

Hundreds of jobs at British American Tobacco (BAT) are at risk after the cigarette giant announced that it is moving production from its main UK factory to the Far East.

Production of 6.2 billion cigarettes is being transferred to factories in Korea and Singapore by next summer to cut costs and move closer to destination markets, BAT said.

Amicus vowed to fight job losses at the Southampton factory, which employs about 660 workers in manufacturing.

Iain MacLean, national officer at the union, said: “This is a huge kick in the teeth for BAT’s loyal workers and a devastating blow for the local economy. These are well-paid and highly-skilled jobs which Southampton can ill-afford to lose.”

Adrian Vinson, leader of Southampton City Council, told the BBC he would be seeking an urgent meeting with BAT to discuss the situation.

“I am profoundly concerned at any job losses in the city. No doubt British American Tobacco has its business case, but this is a serious blow to manufacturing in Southampton,” he said.

 

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