Cadbury workers to lobby Government over job security ahead of Kraft takeover

Cadbury workers are to gather in central London today to lobby ministers and MPs to ensure pledges made by Kraft to retain the workforce post-merger are kept.

Workers to lobby Government: Cadbury
Workers to lobby Government: Cadbury

Cadbury's shareholders are expected to accept a revised £12bn bid from Kraft, ending its 200 years of independence. The takeover has raised fears that jobs and investment will be slashed after the merger takes place.

Unite, the union, is pushing the Government for urgent assistance in pinning Kraft down on guarantees for the future.   
Unite's deputy general secretary Jack Dromey is expected to speak at today's event at midday in Parliament.

‘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,' said Dromey.

‘Government must secure meaningful pledges from Kraft, and police them so that Kraft cannot again walk away from a UK workforce.'

Insignia Communications founder Jonathan Hemus said of the protest: ‘For the workers it is the right thing to do. It is very topical today and high profile because the decision is expected. This way they get it maximum attention by doing it today. It may put some pressure on the Government and Kraft to do the right thing.'

Yesterday, Dromey met with Cadbury workers at their Bournville plant to reassure them that Unite will continue to fight for their future, telling them ‘warm words from Kraft are not enough'. Cadbury workers will travel to London from Bournville today and be addressed by Dromey and Jennie Formby, Unite's national officer for food and drink.  

Earlier this month it emerged that Cadbury was expected to agree a takeover bid by Kraft after the US food giant substantially increased its bid for the confectionery firm (19 January).

PRWeek had revealed that Kraft had called in Edelman to provide strategic PR advice on a post-merger scenario (PRWeek, 15 January).

Cadbury and its agency Finsbury had initially fought a campaign against Kraft's bid and managed to raise the price paid per share from 761p to 840p. Cadbury had previously insisted it was committed to remaining independent and the public got behind the campaign with Facebook groups set-up against the takeover.

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