End in sight to Cadbury’s dispute over outsourcing

Talks held between unions and management at Workplace Relations Commission

 Cadbury’s qworkers  on the picket line this afternoon at the Cadbury factory in Coolock, Dublin. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Cadbury’s qworkers on the picket line this afternoon at the Cadbury factory in Coolock, Dublin. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

 

An end to the dispute between unions and management at Cadbury’s is expected to be reached at the weekend.

The Workplace Relations Commission invited unions and management at Cadbury’s to talks on Friday.

Staff on strike in Dublin said they are concerned the proposed outsourcing of jobs will set a precedent for future changes to employment conditions.

An indefinite picket began at the Coolock facility on Thursday morning over plans by the chocolate maker to implement the move recommended by the Labour Court last November but rejected by workers.

Head of the commission Kieran Mulvey told RTÉ news on Friday night that an agreement had been reached between union and management representatives.

“There are several proposals which both parties will bring back to their principals in the case of the unions and the shop stewards and in the case of the company to their shareholders or principals,” Mr Mulvey said.

“In this context the issue of outsourcing has been resolved and a new set of comprehensive proposals will hopefully be put to ballot and the members of both unions,” he said.

“We do feel we have come up with a set of proposals that both sides can live with. An end to the dispute is likely by tomorrow (Saturday) evening if shop stewards from both unions agree to the new proposals,” he said,

The company has maintained there are no plans to outsource further jobs and the affected workers will be moved into other positions at the plant, with an investment of €12 million planned at the plant.

The owner of Cadbury, Mondelez International, said the strike action will undermine its future viability as well as its operation in Rathmore, Co Kerry.

The unions said they believe if the outsourcing is allowed to stand, it could result in all jobs in Cadbury Ireland being outsourced.