Somerdale set to close?

Posted on 9 Feb 2010 by The Manufacturer

Reports are circulating that Cadbury’s new owner Kraft is set to mothball the Dairy Milk maker’s Somerdale factory in Bristol with the loss of 400 jobs.

The Times claims it has “learnt” of this development though neither Kraft nor Cadbury has yet confirmed it.

Cadbury already had plans to move production away from the site to Poland before Kraft’s £11.5bn takeover, confirmed on February 2. However, Kraft’s initial proposals had included keeping the site open.

The Manufacturer asked Unite Officer Jennie Formby if any official clarifications are available on the position.

“I wish I knew one way or another,” said Formby. “I have put in urgent calls to Kraft and I have not had a response. It appears that the company considers it more important to speak to the media than it does the Unions.”

Formby is due to meet with company stewards at the Somerdale site tomorrow and says she has repeatedly requested that Kraft join her on the visit. However, as yet the company is yet to oblige.

“This is sending a worrying message,” she adds. “We repeatedly told Kraft not to send out messages that gave the Somerdale employees hope if they were not going follow through with these promises. It is shameful that the company would play around with people’s lives in this manner.

“Kraft’s intentions remain unclear but the rumours are building regarding the closure and at the moment it looks like the warm words they produced in order to gain support for a very unpopular takeover are not going to be honoured before the ink is even dry on the deal.”

The Manufacturer has also also asked Cadbury to clarify the official position on this news. Updates will be provided when available.