E tū says it is extremely disappointed though not surprised by Mondelez International’s decision to close the Dunedin Cadbury factory.
Neville Donaldson, E tū Strategic Director Food says the closure will mean hundreds of job losses and is a bitter blow for its members at Cadbury, and for Dunedin itself.
“This is a sad day for those loyal, high-performing workers who will lose their jobs. It is also bad news for the people of Dunedin. These are high-value jobs, and an export business which is disappearing,” says Neville.
“Although much has been made of a current jobs boom in Dunedin, these jobs, if they exist, tend to be part time and minimum wage.”
However, Neville says Mondelez has said it will consider future production of some key Cadbury lines, which offers some hope.
“We take some comfort from the fact that Mondelez has agreed to take part in a working party which will look at options for continued processing in New Zealand for the local market.”
This includes iconic favourites such as chocolate fish, Jaffas, Pineapple Lumps and some marshmallow products.
Neville says it is envisaged this would involve a co-operative or new manufacturer working under contract to Mondelez. Any jobs created through this venture would be offered first to redundant Cadbury workers with the necessary skills.
Neville says Mondelez will work with key partners in Dunedin on a business plan.
The working group includes E tū representative, Neville Donaldson; the Mayor, Dave Cull; the CEO of the Otago/Southland Employers Association, Virginia Nicholls as well as a political representative and members of Mondelez management.
Neville says the group will co-opt expertise as required “so the plan is properly evaluated and put together.
“We look forward to working with Mondelez to identify a viable business plan which will create or retain employment as well as use the skills of this loyal and long-serving group of workers.”
Neville says there will be additional jobs with the current redevelopment at Cadbury World, which will also be offered in the first instance to redundant workers.
E tū would also like to acknowledge and thank the community for their support and actions taken in support of Cadbury workers.