Cadbury workers lobby government for job security pledges under Kraft

Cadbury workers are expected to lobby government today for help in protecting their jobs under their new employer, Kraft.

The move by the workers comes as Cadbury shareholders vote on whether to accept Kraft’s takeover bid.

Hundreds of Cadbury workers will travel from Bourneville to London to urge the government to ensure that pledges to the workforce from Kraft prove to be more than “warm words”.

Jack Dromey, Unite’s deputy general secretary, said: “Our fear is that the Kraft takeover is not in the national interest, and in the months of this hostile takeover process we have heard nothing from Kraft to calm fears that it is in the interest of the Cadbury workforce either.”

Dromey said Kraft’s takeover of Terry’s factory in York caused the plant to close which “weighs heavily on the minds of the Cadbury workforce”.

He said: “Kraft cared little for the great history of that plant or for the skills of its workforce so we must seize the opportunity now to ensure that Cadbury and its workforce do not suffer the same fate.

“The government must secure meaningful pledges from Kraft, and police them so that Kraft cannot again walk away from a UK workforce. Ministers must make it abundantly clear that closures and mass redundancies will not be accepted by the British government or the British people.”

Jennie Formby, Unite’s national officer for food and drink, added that Cadbury workers were “extremely worried” about their jobs and said: “Kraft can no longer hide behind the secrecy of UK takeover rules.”

She added: “The company must come clean on its plans because workers are being left to dread the worst.

“Our worry is that it will be the workforce who pay the price – and until Kraft tell us otherwise by making its plans clear, we have to presume we are now in a fight to protect jobs and investment.”

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