Cadbury’s new parent company, Kraft, has announced it plans to close its Somerdale plant in Keynsham, near Bristol and Bath, with the loss of 400 jobs.
Before the £11.7 billion takeover, Cadbury’s senior management had earmarked the eighty-year-old factory for closure. (The Bath Chronicle reports the factory was in the process of being run down by Cadbury, which had been switching production to Poland.)
During the takeover battle, however, U.S. corporate monolith Kraft promised the plant a reprieve.
But yesterday Kraft chairman and chief executive Irene Rosenfeld announced the company had changed its mind:
“In our recent talks with Cadbury senior management, it became clear that it is unrealistic to reverse the closure programme, despite our original intent to do so. While this is a difficult decision, we have moved quickly to end any further uncertainty.”
Commenting on the closure, Jennie Formby of Unite union had this to say:
“The ink is barely dry on the takeover and a promise made to the Cadbury workers has been broken.
“Somerdale factory workers have been on a rollercoaster of emotions since the shock closure announcement over two years ago so when Kraft made repeated promises to save their plant they were thrilled. Now despondency and anger are setting in.
“Promises were made to the Somerdale factory workers which it seems Kraft had no intention of fulfilling, and which appear now to have been a cynical attempt to curry favour with the British public during what was an extremely unwelcome and unpopular takeover.
“This is not just a tragedy for Somerdale factory workers but is also sending a very worrying message to the rest of the Cadbury workforce.”
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