Sales staff at Coca-Cola in East Kilbride are facing the axe.
The regional sales office is set to close as the American drinks giant restructures its operations in the UK, with 50 jobs set to go.
Coca-Cola has been hailed as one of the town’s biggest success stories but the company has started consultation with staff and hopes to implement the changes early next year.
If the proposals go ahead, a total of 240 jobs will be cut across the UK as the company bids to streamline its operations.
The news has been met with dismay by the town’s MP Michael McCann, who says it is yet another jobs blow.
He added: “It seems like a week doesn’t pass by without more bad news. The announcement that Coca-Cola plan to close their East Kilbride regional sales office will be a body blow to the staff and their families.
“The company have confirmed that they will do everything they can to minimise redundancies and of course with a strong manufacturing presence in the town there is a genuine hope that this can be achieved.
“However, there is no veneer that I can apply that can make this into anything else other than bad news for the town.”
However, the proposals do not include the factory at the College Milton site, which will remain a supply depot for vending operations in Scotland.
MSP Linda Fabiani told the News that she hoped the consultation process would persuade Coca-Cola to keep the regional sales office in East Kilbride.
She said: “I understand from discussion with the management of Coca-Cola that ‘Made in East Kilbride and proud of it’ remains, as the factory is secure.
“Unfortunately, though, the company is consulting on rationalising its sales operation UK-wide and this affects the East Kilbride sales office, and some of those who are currently based there.
“I hope that the consultation will show up the value of continuing to base the sales office in East Kilbride, but meanwhile, of course, will stand by to assist where at all possible.”
A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola said: “We have announced proposals to re-organise our commercial function in Great Britain to create a more simplified structure as a way of boosting efficiency within our business. It is too early to provide exact details of the impact locally in Scotland as we have only just started consultations with our employee representative bodies.
“However, we expect these proposals could result in a reduction of approximately 50 roles out of a total workforce of 359 in Scotland.
“We are proposing the closure of our regional sales office in East Kilbride, but we will continue to use part of the site as a supply depot for our vending operations in Scotland.
“The changes are proposed to be introduced in the early part of 2013 and we will, of course, be looking to minimise redundancies as far as possible and will offer support to help colleagues through this process.”
The cuts are the latest in a string of job losses to hit the town.
In October, Jeyes entered a 90-day consultation with staff which could result in more than 100 jobs being moved from the Kelvin Industrial estate to Norfolk.
And earlier, Rolls-Royce announced that in 2015 it will close its East Kilbride factory, moving more than 600 staff.