E tū was forced to withdraw from today’s Mayoral forum on the proposed closure of Dunedin’s Cadbury factory, citing legal concerns.
This afternoon’s meeting, called by Dunedin’s Mayor, Dave Cull, was attended by key local business organisations, Dunedin MPs, and social welfare officials as well as three Mondelez representatives, including Jake Hatton, Mondelēz External Affairs Manager Australia, and NZ.
E tū’s National Industry Strategy Director (Food), Neville Donaldson says when the meeting got underway, it became clear the Mayor’s agenda was about what happens when the factory closes.
However, Neville advised the meeting that the union and workers are about to begin consultation with Mondelez, which requires the company to genuinely consider alternative proposals which could see the factory and jobs remain in Dunedin.
“We’ve told workers and the general public we will do all we can to keep the factory open, and they expect the union to honour this.
“Legally, with consultation yet to begin, I felt it would be a breach of good faith to members to sit in on discussions about what happens after the factory closes, given a decision hasn’t been made yet,” says Neville.
Neville says he also questions the good faith shown by Mondelez which agreed to attend this meeting, knowing they also have legal good faith obligations to the union and staff to genuinely look at and consider alternatives to closure.
He says E tū recognises that today’s meeting was called with the best of intentions, “but it must be recognised the timing of the meeting was terrible and totally undermined the process and efforts to save jobs.”
For further information, contact:
Neville Donaldson E tū National Industry Strategy Director (Food), ph. 027 543 5312