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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 October 2007

Keynsham

Fight Cadbury's factory closure

Workers at the Cadbury-Schweppes factory in Keynsham near Bristol have been left stunned by the appalling news that the entire plant will close by 2010 with the loss of 500 jobs. Unions estimate that the closure may cost the local economy 26.4 million a year and indirectly destroy another 600 jobs.

Robin Clapp

Although clearly a profitable factory whose workforce exceeded their output targets last year, the parent company is looking to chop 7,500 jobs worldwide and so the decision has been made to transfer Keynsham's production to Poland.

The best that workers have been offered is the remote prospect that some of them may be able to redeploy to Bourneville, yet that plant too is earmarked for 200 redundancies.

Management wring their hands and say they have no choice if they are to remain competitive. They plead that "their ongoing commitment to manufacturing in the UK is absolute".

But by chasing the temptation of cheaper labour costs they demonstrate once again that their prevailing loyalty is to shareholders and banks.

Cadburys may once have been associated with Quakerism, but the lure of profit has always been their real religion.

A fightback must therefore be waged. The trade union Unite has begun to ballot for industrial action and now needs to move swiftly in order to turn anger into an effective campaign to force the bosses back.

Without that, a lengthy period of insecurity will follow for many workers.

The worsening economic climate may well see unemployment figures creeping up over the next couple of years and few new jobs will spring up in Keynsham to replace these threatened posts.

As one worker accurately commented: "Some accountant has looked at the size of this huge brownfield site and realised the development potential for housing worth millions."

It's now time to give that accountant a headache and the Cadbury chiefs a wake-up call that the workforce here will fight all the way for their jobs and their futures.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 25 October 2007:

Public health not private wealth

Join the 3 November NHS demonstration

NHS: What the Socialist Party says

March to save the NHS

Michael Moore's latest film 'Sicko' reviewed

Huddersfield SOS: Class fighters' bold initiative


Postal dispute

Reject Royal Mail deal: Vote 'No' and reinstate the action

Striking Liverpool postal workers return to work


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Why workers need a new party

Respect in crisis - what lessons for socialists?


Socialism 2007

Socialism 2007


Socialist Party feature

Pakistan: Suicide bombings at Bhutto rally


International socialist news and analysis

Turkey's invasion threat increases regional instability

Release Saburi Akande Akinola, Taiwo Hassan Soweto and Olatunde Dairo now

France: Biggest public transport strike action since 1995


Socialist Party women

Do women still have the 'right to choose'?


Socialist Party news and analysis

Liberal Democrat leadership: Two candidates, one background, no answers

Classroom assistants challenge the Stormont Assembly

Who's to blame for teenage obesity?


Workplace news and analysis

Glasgow: On strike for a fair deal

Train drivers prepare for action

Fight Cadbury's factory closure

Teachers' union election time to change!

BBC threatens hundreds of jobs


 

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