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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Unite Tries To Hold Back The Tide

Unite, the union that represents Cadbury employees, is rightly worried that the proposed leveraged takeover of Cadbury by Kraft may lead to job losses in the UK.

Aside from organising a rather futile employee protest in Bournville, the home of Cadbury, today the union says that Kraft must give assurances that the interests of the workforce will not be swept aside in the deal, and that the quality of the products will be safeguarded.

Or what?

What exactly will Unite do, or be able to do, if Kraft doesn't give these assurances?

It is powerless to stop this, and its "demands" as empty and as meaningless as Gordon Brown's promise last week to do everything possible to protect Cadbury jobs.

At best, all that will happen will be that Kraft issue some form of nicely worded soothing message that will not be worth the paper it is printed on.

The only way to stop this is if the shareholders vote it down, which they won't do. As I noted last week, hedge funds snapped up a large number of shares in Cadbury in Q4 2009 when news of the possible takeover came out. They have no loyalty to either the company or the workforce.

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