As part of the post-Cadbury European chocolate business shake-up – which has triggered ongoing industrial action in Belgium (see previous story) – Kraft has announced production transfers and job cuts in Austria as well.
Two production lines are to be transferred from the factory in Bludenz to Bratislava (which is also set to receive one of the packaging lines from Halle in Belgium), in what Kraft refers to as “streamlining as part of its Integration Project”. Employment at the Austrian factory will also be “streamlined” by 40 jobs – despite the fact that the company plans to invest in new production lines.
PRO-GE, the IUF-affiliated union representing workers at Kraft’s two factories in Austria, Bludenz (Suchard chocolate) and Vienna (Jacobs coffee) has strongly criticized the company for profit maximization on the backs of workers, noting that while Kraft speaks of “strategic realignment” and “increased competiveness”, it’s really only about a few more million euros for shareholders.
While Kraft Foods claims to be keen on sustainability, PRO-GE will now be putting all efforts into negotiating a redundancy package that will provide the affected workers with sustainable options for the future.
In Belgium, the unions have suspended the strike, but industrial action continues at the chocolate factory in Halle in the form of a go-slow. Please sign the -> petition launched by the 4 IUF-affiliated unions to keep jobs in Halle.