The union, E tū is highly critical of the decision by Mondelez International to move all production of Cadbury products from its Dunedin production plant to Australia.
E tū’s Director of Industries, Neville Donaldson says the decision will be bitterly disappointing for the more than 300 Dunedin workers who will lose their jobs.
“Mondelez has shown no compunction about closing a very profitable factory in Dunedin at the cost of quality, full-time jobs for New Zealand workers,” says Neville.
“There are companies which would have given their right arm to be able to run the Cadbury factory and enjoy the profits it was making when the decision was made to close, he says.
Mondelez had said some local production of iconic kiwi brands might continue if it found a suitable manufacturer, but today said that wasn’t possible.
However, Neville says the union is sceptical about whether Mondelez ever intended to find an alternative local manufacturer.
“We do question whether there was a genuine effort to keep that work here. What was that exercise really about? Was it about trying to keep 10 percent of that production in New Zealand – or was it really about brand-protection and easing public anger over this closure?
“We had hoped for better, but it’s no surprise things have turned out as they have, given Mondelez’s record overseas,” says Neville.
Neville says New Zealand consumers might now want to consider where they spend their money when it comes to a sweet treat.
“The question is, will they support Mondelez moving its operation overseas at the cost of Kiwi jobs, or should they buy Kiwi-made products and support jobs for Kiwi workers?”
Neville says Dunedin has lost more than 800 full-time, well-paid manufacturing jobs in recent years with the closure of the Hillside Railway workshops, Fisher and Paykel, Sealord and now Cadbury.