A CAMPAIGN to save 400 jobs at Hampshire-based tea firm Twinings continues with a public meeting on Tuesday the 19th.

At the weekend protesters took their demonstration against the cuts at plants in Andover and North Shields to Twinings Tea House, in The Strand, London,which has operated since 1706 and is the public face of the quality tea blender and producer.

Public meeting In Andover the public meeting, at the Guildhall at 7.30pm, will hear from the TUC’s regional secretary, Megan Dobney, and USDAW union organiser Mike Parsonage, as well as Twinings tea workers from Andover and North Shields and campaign supporters.

Its aim is to build support for Twinings workers after an announcment from the Associated British Foods (ABF) subsidiary that it was moving the bulk of its production to Poland and China.

“We know that Twinings shareholders at ABF’s recent annual meeting expressed concerns that the proposed job cuts would damage Twinings’ image, and we hope to bring that message home to the company and press them to change their minds,” said meeting organiser Derek Kotz.

More than two dozen MPs, including signatories from all three main parties, have signed a parliamentary motion urging Twinings to reverse its decision.

Local unions, including the Fire Brigades Union, transport union RMT, Unison and Unite, have already offered support, as have Sarah Evans and Tom McCann, respectively the Labour and Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidates for North West Hampshire, and who will both address the meeting.

Andover’s Lib Dem councillors are also backing calls for Twinings to reconsider its plans. In a motion to be submitted to January’s full council meeting, to be held in Romsey on Thursday, they call for the authority to back the parliamentary Early Day Motion deploring the decision.

Lib Dem leader Len Gates said: “We have had a number of meetings with Twinings union members and agree with them that there is a very strong case for the company to retain and expand production at the Andover site.