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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 November 2007

Cadbury's closure

Workers vote for action

The fight to save 500 jobs at Cadbury's Keynsham plant near Bristol continues. Workers have overwhelmingly voted to oppose closure and in a second ballot organised by Unite have voted 8-1 for a strike ballot if necessary.

Domenico Hill and Robin Clapp, Bristol Socialist Party

Campaigning on this issue we have been swamped by people wanting to sign our petition and discuss what can be done. On three stalls we have sold 150 copies of the socialist and given out hundreds of leaflets.

At a time when it's supposedly an unpopular idea, our demand that the company should be taken into public ownership has been taken up with enthusiasm.

People know that petitions alone are not enough and that a serious campaign of industrial action is needed to force the Cadbury bosses back, including at a certain stage, the possibility of occupation.

In order to counter management propaganda and pull the outraged community behind the workers' fighting strategy to defend jobs, Cadbury workers should urgently name a day for a mass demonstration and rally in the town.

This should include inviting representatives from the Polish Cadbury plant where workers have put out a statement in support for the Keynsham workforce, stressing they are opposed to a 'race to the bottom'.

They fear possible plans by Cadbury's, to move their jobs to the Ukraine, where wages are even lower than in Poland.

Meanwhile Dan Norris, the local Labour MP, has waded in with his own campaign. In a letter distributed locally he states "I have pledged to fight hard to reverse Cadbury's closure plans", but further on adds "In ten years' time, will Keynsham residents still actively mourn the loss of Cadbury's?"

Another example of a New Labour MP hoisting up the white flag, but not too surprising when you consider that it's his government's pro-big business sympathies that have given the unaccountable billionaire Cadbury bosses the encouragement that they can do what they like.

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