Cadbury won’t give us the facts on Keynsham closure, says union

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cadbury trebor bassett, Trade union, Cadbury uk, Cadbury

Cadbury won’t give us the facts on Keynsham closure, says union
There could be a ballot for strike action at Cadbury Trebor Bassett plants before Christmas if progress is not made in talks over the firm’s plans...

There could be a ballot for strike action at Cadbury Trebor Bassett plants before Christmas if progress is not made in talks over the firm’s plans to close its plant in Keynsham, union officials have warned.

Cadbury plans to close its factory at Keynsham, near Bristol, by 2010 with the loss of 500 jobs, as part of a cost reduction plan announced in June. A further 200 jobs will go at its Bournville plant in Birmingham.

The Keynsham production will be moved to factories in Poland and Bournville.

A spokesman at the Unite trade union said: “We had a ballot earlier this month asking two questions: do you oppose the closure plans and do you want to be balloted for industrial action? The response was 90% for the first question and 80% for the second. We’re in talks with the company now, but if we don’t feel we are getting anywhere, then we will ballot for strike action.”

She added: “So far, we’ve been quite appalled by the lack of information that we have received from the company about the rationale behind its decision to close the site. It claims that we have been given exactly the same information as the board has been given. If this is true, then that’s pretty shocking, and if it’s not, we are not being given the full picture.”

The union also accused Cadbury of generating millions of unnecessary food miles by transferring production of chocolates from UK plants to Poland and then transporting the vast majority of them back to the UK again.

A protest march through Keynsham was scheduled for December 8, she added.

The Keynsham factory, which produces brands such as Fudge, Curly Wurly, Fuse, Chocolate Cream, Chomp, Turkish Delight and Cadbury's Mini Eggs, was “both productive and profitable”, she claimed. “The closure plan seems to be nothing more than a cynical plan to realise millions in land value by selling the land and exporting a key UK manufacturing operation to Poland.”