England

New pay deal for Cadbury workers

Cadbury employees have been offered a pay increase of 3.7% by new owners Kraft.

Staff at Cadbury sites in Bournville, Somerdale, Chirk and Marlbrook, Herefordshire, have been told the pay will be backdated to March.

The Unite union is recommending workers accept the deal.

Unite convener John Flavin said the pay award reflected the efforts of the workforce. American firm Kraft took over Cadbury six months ago.

Staff balloted

"I think the pay award reflects the hard work and efforts of the work force," Mr Flavin said.

Kraft has been criticised by the Takeover Panel, which polices takeover bids in the UK, over its statement during its bid that it would keep open Cadbury's Somerdale factory at Keynsham.

After it had bought Cadbury, Kraft then announced it was shutting the Keynsham plant after all.

John Lamb, from Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, said it was a higher offer compared to what other companies were giving workers.

"It's certainly more than other institutions have been paying but obviously they feel they can afford it and maybe it's a reflection they do actually value their staff as well."

A ballot recommending workers accept the pay rise is under way and the result is expected on Friday.

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