Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/507/3347
From The Socialist newspaper, 25 October 2007
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.
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.
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- 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.
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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
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?
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
The Socialist 25 October 2007 |
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