Staff at Cadbury’s threaten to halt production in jobs row
Staff at Cadbury’s Coolock plant in north Dublin are threatening to bring production to a standstill next week in a dispute over outsourcing.
Members of the trade unions Unite and Siptu served strike notice on the company on Wednesday morning, effective at 7am next Thursday.
“We’re going to strike,” United Regional Coordinating Organiser Richie Browne vowed tonight after 350 workers belonging to Unite and SIPTU voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action.
The unions vowed to “bring production to a standstill” unless the dispute is resolved, Mr Browne told Independent.ie.
If the strike proceeds, production of the chocolate-makers popular brands, including Dairy Milk 8-square, Flake, Twirl, Boost and will come to a halt.
However production of the company’s popular Crème Eggs and Easter eggs will not be affected if the strike goes ahead just weeks before Easter.
At issue is the company’s plan to outsource the jobs of 17 workers at the plant’s warehouse to an outside agency.
Mr Browne said the workers, many of whom are senior employees who have been with the company for a long time, feel they have been unfairly targeted.
“We have said to the company that there is no need for outsourcing,” he said, citing negotiations that have been ongoing for the past year to implement cost efficiencies and savings.
He said the union is furious that Cadbury’s – which was taken over by multinational food giant Mondelez – implemented a Workplace Relations Commission recommendation to outsource the jobs which the union has totally rejected.
“This is the first time ever that the company has tried to unilaterally impose these measures,” he said.
The company, meanwhile, said that the workers who are affected by the outsourcing plan would be “offered alternative equivalent opportunities within the Coolock site.”
“The company regrets that SIPTU and UNITE has taken this step and has again reaffirmed its acceptance of the proposals contained in the WRC recommendations including 4pc pay increases for all impacted staff,” a Mondelez spokewoman said.
“In line with many other manufacturing businesses in Ireland, the Coolock chocolate manufacturing site is under intense pressures from international competition and any form of industrial action only undermines the future viability of the entire site.
We remain available to meet again with the SIPTU and UNITE representatives to attempt to find ways to avoid this proposed industrial action whilst also building a more sustainable future for the Coolock site,” the spokeswoman said.