Union's fresh job fears on eve of Cadbury takeover vote
Unions representing thousands of workers at Cadbury have voiced fresh fears for jobs on the eve of the expected takeover of the chocolate-maker by US giant Kraft.
Cadbury shareholders will vote on Tuesday on a revised offer from Kraft, but union officials said the US firm had remained “silent” on the workforce’s future.
Unite said there was still no information on the consequences of the deal for the workforces of both companies.
The union called on Kraft to make its intentions clear, warning that workers were “extremely worried” for their future.
Unite, and unions representing Kraft workers in the United States and Europe, claimed that the conglomerate’s silence on its plans for the Birmingham-based company was spreading insecurity among workers.
The unions wrote to Kraft’s chief executive Irene Rosenfeld urging the firm to allay concerns that the takeover will be paid for in workers’ jobs.
Jennie Formby, national officer of Unite said: “Our workers at Cadbury are extremely worried that what was a bright future for them will be dimmer under Kraft, and our UK Kraft members are also anxious to learn what their future holds.
“The workforces have been kept in the dark too long. Specific questions have been put to Ms Rosenfeld by our European colleagues, including will the take-over lead to the closure of existing plants and will there be lay-offs? All these questions need urgent answers.
“With the purchase of Cadbury sure to be completed in the next 24 hours, Kraft can no longer hide behind the secrecy of UK takeover rules. They must come clean on their plans because workers are being left to dread the worst.
“There are only so many savings Kraft can make through synergies in functions like administration. When it is hungry for savings and has the stock market baying for good returns, where will Kraft turn next?
“Our worry is that it will be the workforce who pays the price - and until Kraft tell us otherwise by making their plans clear, we have to presume we are now in a fight to protect jobs and investment.”
Cadbury workers will lobby the Government tomorrow for support to win jobs and investment guarantees from their new employer.