Cadbury workers from throughout the UK are taking to the streets of Birmingham on Wednesday in a bitter pay dispute timed to coincide with the chocolate giant’s financial results.
The workers, from across Cadbury’s UK plants at Bournville, Chirk, Marlbrook and Somerdale, are continuing their fight to get the world-famous chocolate manufacturer to honour the final year of a three-year pay agreement.
Demonstrations will be held outside the four plants and Jennie Formby, Unite national officer for the food and retail sector, said: “The workforce feel betrayed by the company who are raking in record profits.
“The company has breached the agreement which was to pay workers in line with the cost of living for three years. These workers are, through their hard work, delivering record profits for this company.”
The union says Cadbury had agreed a deal of RPI plus 0.5 per cent but with a minimum of two per cent for 2009. As RPI in February was 0 per cent, Unite says the company is breaking the original agreement and instead imposing a deal of 0.5 per cent.
A total of 1,300 workers across the Cadbury’s sites are currently being balloted on the prospect of industrial action.
A spokesman for Cadbury said: “No business is immune from the economic uncertainty ahead and it’s essential we remain in as strong a position as possible. We took the decision to freeze the pay of all clerical and management staff this year. The only exception was our factory staff and we feel that, given the very low rate of inflation, our pay increase agreed in 2007 is very fair.”