Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/513/3521
Save Cadbury jobs!
The demonstration on 8 December marks a new point in the campaign to keep the Cadbury site open in Keynsham.
Robin Clapp, Bristol Socialist Party
The entire community has been outraged by the callous decision to close the plant and has rallied round the workforce.
So far however the company has not responded to this pressure, preferring instead to stick to its agenda of chopping 7,500 jobs worldwide and relocating production to Poland. 500 workers are to be thrown on the dole and the local economy may lose £26.4 million a year and possibly another 1,000 jobs.
The bosses accept invitations to speak at a conference on green issues highlighting their 'Purple goes Green' initiative. Yet they ignore the hypocrisy of producing chocolate 1,000 miles away, 90% of which will then be imported back into Britain. That's one giant carbon footprint!
It is marvellous that Polish workers have expressed their solidarity with the struggle to keep production at Somerdale. They know that Cadburys are looking to locate even cheaper sources of labour in Ukraine. They realise that in order to stop these threats, unity between the workforces is vital.
Meanwhile and predictably, New Labour has hardly uttered a peep in support of these workers. The local MP is already talking about what use the land may be put to if closure follows.
Many workers in Cadburys will ask why their trade union Unite continues to fund New Labour to the tune of hundreds of thousands. Surely it's time that the trade unions spelt it out to the government - support workforces like Cadburys, or we will stop your funding and put our money into supporting the building of a new workers' party that stands up for the interests of the millions and not the millionaires.
The workforce has voted eight to one in a ballot in favour of considering industrial action. They have raised the question of nationalisation and even occupation of the plant when production starts to be significantly mothballed.
Unite must take up these questions energetically, leading from the front and inspiring workers with the confidence that this plant's future will be defended at all costs.
The struggle can be further broadened with invitations extended to other trade unionists to actively join the campaign. If Cadburys gets away with it, other employers will seek to follow suit.
Saturday 8 December
In The Socialist 6 December 2007:
Workplace news and analysis
What we think
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review
Post Office and CWU