AMWU seeks assurances on Cadbury jobs

Following Kraft Foods’ successful takeover bid for British confectioner Cadbury questions are now being asked about the status of jobs that may not be so sweet for the chocolate maker’s employees here.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) says it is working to ensure that the jobs of almost 2000 Cadbury workers remain in Australia.

AMWU Tasmanian Secretary, Anne Urquhart, said the union was seeking meetings with management about the future of its operations in Claremont ,Tasmania, and regional Victoria.

“Cadbury is a very profitable business as it stands and we are waiting to hold discussions with Kraft to ensure Cadbury has a clear future in Australia,” she said.

Ms Urqhart said that workers are anxiously awaiting news on the security of their jobs.

“The situation at the moment is that workers have not been told what their future will be. The only thing that is certain is that the former CEO and board members personally will gain enormously from the takeover, while workers have had no guarantees.

“We are also concerned by the pattern of management in takeover situations to look at short-term options such as selling off parts of the business to pay down debt.”

Ms Urqhart said such a move would be in the long-term interest of the company, the workers or consumers who enjoy Cadbury’s products.

“Rationalisation to achieve short-term share price spikes at the expense of long-term planning and investment has been a hallmark of the disasters of the financial crisis and ruined many good businesses,” Ms Urqhart said.

Sixty workers at Cadbury’s warehouse in Ringwood, Victoria, have already been told that they will lose their jobs when the company closes the operation in July.

Cadbury said this is due to a decision to outsource and is not related to the takeover by Kraft.

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