Mondelēz International to let 250 go at Bournville
The decision comes after a year of talks between bosses, employees and representatives of trades union Unite.
It follows Mondelēz’s announcement in January last year that it aimed to invest £75M in the Bournville plant. The confectionery giant warned at the time that the investment would only be viable if firm action was taken to cut costs and automate operations there and conceded this would entail job losses.
Unite is reportedly happy with the deal, because the job losses solely consisted of workers choosing to take voluntary redundancy, and no compulsory cuts.
A spokesman for Mondelēz told FoodManufacture.co.uk that 50 jobs had already gone at the factory in connection with the modernisation plan.
“We are pleased that the consultation with colleagues and their representatives is progressing in a positive and constructive manner,” said a spokesman for the business.
“From the outset, we have been clear that to secure the £75M investment and therefore the next generation of manufacturing at Bournville, we will need to become cost competitive. During consultation, we agreed that this would mean fewer people working in Bournville in the future.
“Our preference is always to look for voluntary redundancies to achieve any reductions. Through conversations with our workforce, a number of employees have asked for voluntary redundancy, indicating that we can achieve the necessary reductions through a voluntary approach.
“We have been clear as part of consultation that we need everyone to play their part if we are to secure the next generation of manufacturing at Bournville.”
In 2011, former Cadbury owner Kraft Foods announced a total of 200 job cuts across several of the company’s sites, including Bournville, which it acquired when it bought the firm in January 2010.
In 2012, Kraft Foods spun off its North American grocery business to a new company called Kraft Foods Group. The rest of Kraft Foods was renamed Mondelēz International and refocused as an international snack and confectionery firm.
In addition to Dairy Milk, the Bournville site makes well-known brands such as Cadbury Crème Eggs and Cadbury Wispa.