In a statement, the confectionery and snacks giant said it planned to shut its chewing gum factory at Tallaght in Dublin in 2016, rendering 45 permanent employees and 17 contracted roles there redundant.
The firm has also announced plans to cut 160 jobs at Cadbury chocolate manufacturing plants in Coolock, also near Dublin, and Rathmore, County Kerry.
Mondelēz International said the move had been taken to save money and increase efficiency, claiming that a comprehensive review had indicated that manufacturing goods at the Tallaght facility was not cost-effective.
‘Production cost challenges’
“Our gum ingredient factory in Tallaght faces too many production cost challenges to be sustainable and regrettably we see no alternative to the proposal to close this plant,” said Phil Hodges, senior vice president, integrated supply chain for Mondelēz International.
Justin Cook, md of Mondelēz Ireland, said: “Following extensive reviews, we have presented separate proposals to employees in Tallaght and also at our chocolate sites in Coolock and Rathmore.
“We very much regret that these proposed changes would require role reductions. We are committed to working fairly and respectfully with employees and their representatives through the consultation processes that will now commence.
Gum demand declining
The company added in a statement:“Global demand for gum is declining and the development of a new, superior technology for the production of end-to-end gum products supersedes the current technology in Tallaght.”
Trade union representatives are understood to be pursuing a meeting with managers over the plans, which they claimed had been revealed without any prior warning.
However, Mondelēz said part of its efficiency drive at the Coolock factory would include investing €11.7M (£8.5M) in new chocolate making technology. That would enable it to focus production on core chocolate brands, including eight square blocks of Cadbury Dairy Milk, Flake, Twirl and Boost.
The factory would cease producing chocolate bars Time Out and Pink Snack from the end of this year, as sales of the products had been falling for a while, Mondelēz said.
Low staff morale
A report in the Birmingham Post last week raised fears over the future of Mondelēz’s Cadbury plant at Bournville, reporting claims of low levels of staff morale there. The paper also reported shop stewards’ concerns that equipment at the plant was lying idle, while production was being outsourced to overseas factories.
However, while Mondelēz confirmed in January that it had agreed plans with trades union Unite to let 250 people go at the Bournville site, it has also announced plans to invest £75M there. The cash was being pumped into modernising the plant and increasing automation there, it said.