Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has said it is "disappointed" with union action over plans for compulsory redundancies at its Wakefield manufacturing plant as it is doing all it can to minimise the need for such cuts.

It comes after members of union Unite staged a demo at the own-account operator’s West Yorkshire plant yesterday evening (Thursday 19 December) in a bid to get CCE to rethink its intention to cut 47 job at the site.

The job losses come as a result of the operator’s decision to discontinue its direct-to-store delivery operation.

A spokesman for CCE said: “We are disappointed that the union [took] this action. We are making a number of changes at our Wakefield facility but we believe that we have worked constructively with our employee representative bodies to minimise compulsory redundancies as far as possible.”

CCE has identified 19 potential job opportunities at Wakefield and has an outplacement programme in place to help those affected.

The union believes there is no need for compulsory redundancies as 10 more staff have agreed to take voluntary redundancy, in addition to the 38 volunteers and nine compulsory redundancies it had revealed previously.

Unite regional officer Sarah Mitchell said: “Coca-Cola has received sufficient volunteers to allow the company to retain the right number of staff with the right skills, but it is still using this restructuring process as an opportunity to make compulsory redundancies, and we believe this is just plain wrong.”

CCE outsourced some of its direct-to-store distribution to Palmer & Harvey last month.