22 Feb 2017

Dunedin holds forum on proposed closure of Cadbury factory

8:36 pm on 22 February 2017

A mayoral forum was held in Dunedin today on the proposed closure of the Cadbury chocolate factory.

The Cadbury factory in central Dunedin.

The Cadbury factory in central Dunedin. Photo: RNZ / Lydia Anderson

The proposed closure - announced last week - would see about 362 people lose their jobs.

Today's forum included representatives from Cadbury's owner Mondelez International, as well as Dunedin MPs, local business associations and Dunedin mayor Dave Cull.

But the union representing Cadbury workers, E Tū, walked out of the forum, because it was worried about a conflict.

E Tū spokesman Neville Donaldson said it had entered into a good faith process about the possibility of the factory staying open, and the forum was discussing its closure.

He said the mayor addressed what would happen once the factory closed, but the factory was still in consultation with its workers and it would be a breach of good faith for the union to sit in on discussions about what happens after it closed.

Dunedin North MP David Clark said Mondelez today committed to at least giving options of what retaining an operation in the city might look like.

"They would come back to us with what options for retaining an ongoing operation might look like, even in part, because that's something we've not heard much about until now. We've been presented largely as a case they can see no way around."

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