Unite condemns job losses and calls on company to make public its business plans

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Unite has condemned Kraft’s announcement that 200 jobs are to go at Cadbury, saying the firm’s £44m investment should protect jobs, to shed them.

The union also criticised the company for making the announcement to the press, rather than to employees themselves.

Kraft, which controversially took over Cadbury last year, said consultation on job losses would start in the New Year.

Unite’s national officer for the food industry, Jennie Formby said: “While we welcome Kraft’s plans to invest £44 million in the company, we have great concern about the 200 job losses. We understand that these jobs will be lost through natural wastages, with no compulsory redundancies.

“Our view is that if  Kraft is investing £44 million for the expansion of its UK factories there should be no job losses and we will be strongly pressing for that outcome when we talk to management about this issue in the New Year.

“We are also concerned that the company continues in its refusal to share its mid-to-long term business plans with us and its refusal to say that there won’t be compulsory redundancies in the future.

“We also deplore Kraft’s tactics of announcing this by press release – to the media first – without the courtesy of telling the workforce in advance. It is wrong that the first that hundreds of employees will hear about the threat to their jobs will be through the media.”

In August, Unite sought assurances about UK jobs and production at Kraft and Cadbury, following the announcement that Kraft was to split its business into two independent companies.

Unite warned then that Kraft may be seeking to pay down hefty owings built up by the company after years of acquisitions, including its take-over of Cadbury. Kraft aims to create a global snacks business and also a high-margin North American grocery business by the end of 2012.

The Commons’ Business select committee has accused the company of flirting with ‘contempt’ of parliament for its repeated refusal to put its CEO, Irene Rosenfeld, forward for questioning by MPs.

Jennie Formby added: “We are still no closer to a Cadbury Law to defend UK-based companies against predatory purchases.”


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