Blog: Dean BestMondelez faces fresh UK union criticism over Cadbury

Dean Best | 1 May 2013

The takeover of Cadbury was one of the most debated deals of recent times, particularly in the UK, where the then Kraft Foods faced union and political criticism. Now the confectioner's current owner, Mondelez International, is in the spotlight.

The Unite union today (1 May) accused the company of "human rights abuses" in north Africa. It said Mondelez had been linked to the "sacking" of five union officials in Egypt, and the dismissal of a worker who spoke out after getting injured in one of its plants in the country. Unite also claimed Mondelez has "locked out legitimate trade unions" at sites in Egypt and Tunisia.

"This is a company that has repeatedly demonstrated that it has little respect or concern for its workforce and their employment rights," Unite national officer Jennie Formby claimed. "Unite warned Kraft that their future behaviour towards workers would be under close scrutiny following the hostile Kraft-Cadbury takeover in 2010. As soon as they took over the company, hundreds of jobs were lost. Yet Kraft is still allowed to continue this bad management in dealing with its workforce today."

She added: "Our members take this unjust attack on its fellow brothers and sisters in Egypt very seriously and they will not stand by when their rights or any workers' rights are under attack. It is totally unacceptable and must stop. We'll fight-back together until we end these unjust attacks on workers in Egypt and to defend workers' rights."

Mondelez could not be reached for immediate comment. Tomorrow, Unite and the International Union of Food Workers will host a reception in Birmingham, not far from Cadbury's flagship Bournville site to "highlight their concerns" with Mondelez. Two of the supposedly sacked union workers from Egypt will be present.

We'll chase Mondelez for comment again tomorrow.


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