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The site has already faced industrial action, which Unite claims has resulted in a production shortfall of 300m cups of coffee – claims JDE has denied​.

Now, in an open letter to the coffee boss, the union urged Simon to engage constructively to find a solution that avoided ‘social and economic havoc’ for the site and the local area.

The letter, signed by Banbury employees, questioned why the loyal workforce had been ‘singled out for this harsh treatment’, while Dutch colleagues were not being ‘fired and rehired’.

“We’ve worked hard through these frightening, tough times, helping to make your company very rich,” ​the letter read. “Our reward? You’ve told us to take pay cuts of up to £12,000 a year or be sacked.

 “People are terrified, breaking into tears at work, not knowing how we will be able to make ends meet in a town where the average house price is £313,000.”

Selling and moving away

The letter claimed managers had told employees to sell their houses and move away, while reiterating concerns around members of staff and their families being filmed by JDE​ during protests outside the factory.

“We ask that you meet with us,” ​the letter continued. “Look us in the eye and explain why your company has become so hostile after decades of positive and constructive relations – explain to us how we can keep a roof over our heads with our wages slashed?

“Please, work with us to find a fairer way forward. Withdraw these threats, engage with us via the agreed process, and treat us and this community with the dignity we deserve.”

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