Workers at a Hampshire-based tea company will stage a protest outside a meeting of the firm's shareholders as part of a campaign to save hundreds of jobs, it was announced today.

Twinings is facing growing anger over plans to cut around 400 jobs from North Shields, Tyne and Wear and Andover in Hampshire and move production to Poland and China.

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Workers from both sites will lobby shareholders at a meeting in London on Friday and will argue that the plants are profitable and productive.

Mike Parsonage, of the shopworkers' union Usdaw, said: ''Twinings are moving abroad to seek cheap Labour. If we allow this to happen, no manufacturing jobs will have a future in the UK.''

An early day motion has been tabled in the Commons by Labour MP John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington) expressing concern at the job losses and calling on the Government to intervene ''as a matter of urgency''.