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Uniting Food, Farm and Hotel Workers World-Wide


European Cadbury workers join their UK comrades in protest action

Posted to the IUF website 09-Jul-2009

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Helen Maybanks

Delegates from 5 European countries attending the Cadbury European Works Council in Heathrow on July 9 walked out of the meeting at 12 noon to join their UK colleagues in a protest against Cadbury UK management's refusal to honour the final year of a three-year pay deal. Rather than pay the agreed minimum of 2% for 2009, the company proposes to break the agreement and impose a 0.5% increase. This comes despite a 30% leap in corporate profits this year.

The workers, from Cadbury's UK plants at Bourneville, Chirk, Marlbrook and Somerdale, and their union, UNITE, are considering strike action if the company does not change its position.

UNITE national officer, Jennie Formby, insisted that "this broken promise on fair pay is simply not acceptable. Cadbury's managers and shareholders are getting fat on the profits generated by this loyal workforce but while chocolate sales and Cadbury directors salaries' appear to be recession proof, workers' wages are melting away.

"Workers know that this move has nothing to do with cutting costs during tough times and everything to do with an employer cynically taking advantage of a recession to attack workers' pay."

The UK workers were gratified over the excellent support from their European comrades, many of whom are also facing pay freezes and squeezes.