On July 23, 2020, Unilever officially announced that it will spin off much of its tea business into a “separate entity” and that it expects its separation to be complete by the end of 2021. This announcement comes at the end of a so-called strategic review by Unilever of its tea business, and could set the stage for a future sale. Unilever did something similar when it sold its margarine and spreads business (including Country Crock) to a private equity firm in 2017.
We don’t know enough about Unilever’s ultimate objective, but UFCW Local 400 is closely monitoring the situation. On Monday, July 27 we sent an information request to Unilever/Lipton in an effort to gain a better understanding of their plans to spin off its tea business, including the Lipton plant in Suffolk. We will share what we learn as soon as Lipton responds, and we will always work to defend your rights and job security.
In the meantime, your union contract remains in effect and in full force. Please reach out to your shop stewards or to your union representative, Robert Brown, with any questions.