The company said the moves were prompted by the need for improved productivity and greater efficiency.
Drinks giant Coca-Cola is planning to close two of its UK sites with the loss of almost 300 jobs.
The proposal would affect a manufacturing site in Milton Keynes and a distribution centre in Northampton.
A company statement said: “We know today’s news will be upsetting for our people at these sites, and our immediate priority is to support them throughout the consultation process.
“We are proud of our long-standing links with both towns and have not made these proposals lightly.
“However, we believe the proposed changes are necessary as they would provide significant productivity improvements and create greater efficiency across our manufacturing and distribution operations in Great Britain.
“If these proposed changes are implemented they could result in the total loss of 288 roles, and the sites would close in 2019.
“At the same time we are proposing to transfer production and warehousing to other GB sites.
“We expect to create 121 additional roles across our manufacturing and distribution networks, providing potential redeployment opportunities for impacted colleagues.”
Unite regional officer Sally Mortimer said: “The closure of the Northampton distribution site is a body blow for the local economy as about 200 jobs are at risk at a challenging time for the UK economy generally.
“We don’t accept the company’s case that this site is not ‘customer friendly’ as it is in the centre of England with excellent motorway connections and transport links.
“During the consultation period, we will strongly be making that case for the site to stay open and our red line is that there should be no compulsory redundancies.”
Richard Owen, regional officer of the GMB union, said: “These are high quality jobs that will be impossible to replace in the local area.
“Coca-Cola have told us that no-one will be made redundant until 2019 and we hope to work closely with the company to make sure the employees are adequately rewarded for their service, some of whom have worked there for over 25 years.
“We have also been told that jobs will be created at other factories in Sidcup, Edmonton, Wakefield and East Kilbride.
“Coca-Cola have blamed pressures of the sugar tax and imminent arrival of the bottle deposit schemes for forcing their hand in this decision.
“However, the fact that the Milton Keynes site has no associated warehouse, with 75% of production being stored in Northampton, was surely a factor in this.”
Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.
There are no comments for this article.