Unite the union is threatening a 1,300-strong workforce strike at Cadbury if the company does not honour its three year pay deal.
Unite is angry that Cadbury is breaking a long-standing deal struck with the workers at its UK plants including Bourneville, Chirk and Marlbrook. According to the union, Cadbury had agreed to pay workers a minimum annual increase of at least 2%, but is now offering 0.5%.
Workers began to vote on the action on Saturday. The union claims a strike action will hit production, as well as the supplies of products including Wispa, Crunchie, Dairy Milk and Creme Egg.
Jennie Formby, Unite national officer for the food and retail sector, said: “The workers are angry that while Cadbury’s managers and shareholders carve up a hefty 30% leap in profits, made by the hard work of the employees, workers are left choking on the crumbs, a derisory 0.5% in their pay packets.
“It is unacceptable that a company as profitable as Cadbury seeks to use a recession to snatch back money meant for workers. We ask Cadbury now to honour its commitments because these workers deserve nothing less than the fair pay they were promised.”
Unite is conducting a consultative ballot of the workforce for industrial action. The ballot opened on July 18 and will close on August 18.
The ballot will exclude workers at Cadbury Somerdale site because of a punitive clause in their redundancy agreement, which means they forfeit all enhanced redundancy payments if they take any industrial action, according to the union.
Cadbury was unavailable for comment prior to this story being published on the web.