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Last Updated: Monday, 27 October, 2003, 12:27 GMT
Union hope on chocolate jobs
Cadbury products
Cadbury products include Dairy Milk chocolate and Dr Pepper drinks
About 150 chocolate factory workers in north Wales are waiting to hear if they will be affected by plans by Cadbury Schweppes to cut 5,500 jobs.

The group plans to reduce 10% of the company's 55,000-strong workforce and close one in five of its 133 plants around the world.

Forty-seven jobs were lost at the factory in Chirk, Wrexham in 1999 and another 20 more recently.

But local union officials are optimistic that the Chirk factory will not be hit again.

"We have the implication that Chirk won't be affected," said a spokesman for the T&G union.

"They were affected about 12-18 months ago and we're hoping that slimming down got us on a good footing."

Cocoa beans

The Chirk plant transforms raw cocoa beans into the ingredients from which chocolate and cocoa are made.

Chirk councillor Ian Roberts said: "We'd certainly be concerned about losing jobs within our area.

"There are a number of people from local areas who work there," he added.

The move by Cadbury Schweppes is part of plans to cut costs by 400m a year across the group's business, a programme that will cost the firm an estimated 900m between 2004 - 2007.

Cadbury did not specify in which countries the job cuts would be made or whether its 7,000 UK workers would be affected.

Wrexham Council said it had not been informed of the possibility of job losses at the plant.

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