Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/492/2542
How Cadbury's keeps shareholders sweet...
CADBURY'S HAS announced a 15% cut (up to 7,500 jobs) in their global workforce by 2011. It's not certain where the axe will fall in Britain. As well as chocolate manufacturing plants around Birmingham and Bristol, Cadbury has plants in Sheffield, North Wales, Herefordshire and Devon and offices in London and Hertfordshire.
Clive Walder Birmingham Socialist Party
The company want a 'radical programme' of cost-cutting whilst increasing sales of their core brands. Their idea of growth is peculiar; they closed 30 factories in the last four years in a programme called 'Fuel for Growth!'
Chief Executive Todd Stitzer admits he is under pressure to increase profit margins after they fell to 10.1% in 2006! He wants them up to 15-16%. The company isn't losing money, shareholders just think it isn't making enough and want workers to pay for it.
The company feel emboldened to make such cuts by the trade union leaders' supine attitude. Unite national officer, Brian Revell said: "We worked hard with Cadbury in recent years and co-operated in a change programme which means UK factories are extremely efficient. We are, therefore, concerned by today's announcement..."
There was no mention of possible industrial action or community campaigns to fight possible job cuts. These right-wing union leaders won't even fight job cuts in a profitable company!
A maintenance engineer at Bournville plant had a much better grasp on events when he told Birmingham's local press: "We knew it was going to happen, to keep the shareholders happy."
Probably the 'need' for cost-cutting stems from money spent on the group's expansion.
Workers shouldn't be made to pay. Cadbury's should be taken into public ownership and Cadbury workers should draw up a plan of production to safeguard jobs.
If union leaders can't even fight profitable companies we need to change them but we also need a workers' party that will give help and encouragement to workers fighting to save their jobs.
In The Socialist 21 June 2007:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
War and terrorism
Socialist students and ISR
Workplace news and analysis
International socialist news