BAT closes Swiss plant

British American Tobacco (BAT) is closing its Boncourt site with 226 employees, reports Blick.

The hopes of the employees of the traditional tobacco factory in Boncourt JU are literally going up in smoke. Today (14 December) it became known that the consultation process for the closure of the over 200-year-old factory could not find a solution for the employees.

BAT, which has operated the factory since 1999, is shutting down operations for good. The factory in the tranquil village of 1200 souls in the Jura region produced, among other things, the cigarettes of the Swiss brand Parisienne. The company is not disclosing where Parisienne will be produced in future. Only that it will be another BAT factory within Europe.

In recent weeks, a delegation of 36 employees has tried to find a solution to save the factory in cooperation with the Syna and Unia trade unions and the management. But the management from London did not listen to the proposals. So the 226 employees will all lose their jobs. “The dismissals will be pronounced, in several waves, over the next year,” Yves Defferrard of the Unia trade union told the media.

The only consolation for the employees is an improved social plan. According to the unions, the maximum was extracted for the dismissed employees in the 16 rounds of negotiations. No details were given. Unia and Syna say they will keep a close eye on BAT. They want to make sure that the employees’ rights are strictly respected.

The tobacco factory was founded in 1814 by the Burrus family and became the property of Rothmans International in 1996. The latter merged with the multinational BAT in 1999, making the factory its headquarters in Switzerland. Since 1887, it has produced the famous Swiss cigarettes “Parisienne”, the second best-selling brand in the country.

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