Unions ask for job safety from Kraft

BRITISH union Unite and its global counterpart, the International Union of Food Workers, have written to US conglomerate Kraft requesting urgent meetings following its £11.5bn recommended offer for Cadbury.

Unite wants assurances that none of Cadbury’s 4,500 UK employees will have their working arrangements changed for at least two years. The IUF is concerned about the wider effects of the merger on Kraft’s 98,000-strong workforce around the world.

The news underlines fears of job cuts as the American giant prepares to take over the iconic chocolate maker. Cadbury chairman Roger Carr has already warned of possible redundancies, while Prime Minister Gordon Brown and business secretary Peter Mandelson have loudly warned Kraft chairman Irene Rosenfeld against making a “quick buck” by shedding British jobs.

Kraft intends to make $675m (£417m) cost savings annually after the deal, some of which analysts say will come through redundancies.

Cadbury employees took to the streets of Bournville, the company’s home for 186 years, to protest against the proposed takeover yesterday.

A Unite spokesperson said: “Our members don’t want to give up until the very bitter end, and that isn’t until 2 February [when shareholders vote on the Kraft offer].”