Page last updated at 15:18 GMT, Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Union fears loss of 7,000 UK Cadbury jobs

Cadbury chocolate
US food giant Kraft's bid for Cadbury is hostile

Thousands of UK jobs could move abroad if chocolate maker Cadbury is bought by US giant Kraft, a union has warned.

The union Unite claimed 7,000 jobs could go if control of the British firm shifted to Illinois in the US.

And a further 20,000 jobs in the supply chain could be at risk if the hostile bid goes through, it said.

A Kraft spokesman said the claims were "utterly unfounded". He said Kraft's bid for Cadbury would be better for British jobs than other options.

'Much-loved products'

In a briefing to Cadbury investors, the union also warned that the firm would be saddled with a "colossal" £22bn of debt if the merger was passed.

Union spokeswoman Jennie Formby said: "If decisions about Cadbury's future are transferred from Britain to Northfield, Illinois, it won't just be workers who lose.

"It will be Cadbury with its history of much-loved products and much-admired philanthropy, along with UK business, that suffer."

In a statement, Kraft said: "The comments are utterly unfounded.

"We are confident that our bid is going to be better for British manufacturing jobs than Cadbury remaining independent or being broken up by another company."

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