Birmingham chocolate maker Cadbury has been sold to American food giant Kraft (Tuesday the 2nd February) after shareholders voted in favour of an offer of nearly 12 billion pounds.
Workers from Cadbury were protesting outside Parliament to make sure their jobs are safe.
It's after the Cadbury board backed last month saying it's a good price
Unite national officer, Jennie Formby, said: "Our members and their friends across the Midlands deserve a voice in this takeover. They are angry that to date they have been forced to look on from the sidelines as the big money players carve up their company."
"Our protest is intended to send a clear message to Cadbury shareholders – don’t sell Cadbury out."
"Cheese and chocolate must not be a recipe for disaster for Cadbury. The livelihoods of thousands of workers and the future of a great UK manufacturer are at risk."
Meanwhile Gordon Brown has been reassuring Cadbury workers that their jobs are safe. The Prime Minister said the Government was "determined jobs in Cadbury can be secure".
Speaking at a press conference at Downing Street, he said: "We are determined that the levels of investment that take place in Cadbury in the United Kingdom are maintained and we are determined that, at a time when people are worried about their jobs, that jobs in Cadbury can be secure."
Cadbury employs around 45,000 people in 60 countries, with around 5,700 staff at eight manufacturing sites in the UK and Ireland including the Bournville site.
But the founder's great granddaughter Felicity Loudon wants everyone to keep it British:
"We just need everybody on side in this country and I'm sure we can gather strength to prove to the shareholders, they don't need Kraft"
"Kraft need us - We don't need them"
Statement from Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO, Kraft Foods, on meeting with Lord Mandelson:
"I was delighted with the opportunity to meet with Lord Mandelson and to discuss with him our commitment to invest and grow in the UK."
"As we have said from the outset, our interest is in growing Cadbury and investing in its great brands and people. That will be good for the company, good for the UK and good for British manufacturing jobs. We aim to restore Cadbury to its place as the world’s biggest and best confectionery business."
"Lord Mandelson was naturally interested in the employment prospects of Cadbury’s workers. I made clear to him our belief that the combination of Kraft Foods and Cadbury will be better for UK manufacturing than Cadbury’s standalone prospects."
Joe Clarke from the regions Unite Union spoke to Heart outside of the Birmingham factory. He believes that around 6,000 jobs in Birmingham are linked to the Bournville factory alone, through local shops ect...
Steve McCabe MP for Hall Green in Birmingham says: "I have a clear job to do right now. Workers are concerned about the future of production in Birmingham and about their jobs."
"I will be talking to Cadbury bosses to seek assurance that safeguards are in place. Bournville is Cadbury. Birmingham workers have been key to Cadbury's global success for more than 150 years and we must make sure that continues."
Here are some of your thoughts:
There's a saying isn't there - if it aint broke don't fix it. Cadbury's isn't broke! It appears to me that it has been one of the most successful business in the UK for years, always making good profit. So why has it got to sell to a big American company that could move the whole thing over there if they get the chance? It's a massive shame and I feel for the employees here in the UK.
Yet another British tradition hits the dust. It's disgraceful the way this beautiful country of ours is being sold off bit by bit! When are we going to learn..... Please please someone, somewhere, do something about this...... don't give in to these money grabbing low lifes...... Kraft bought out Terrys of York and look what happened to them..... within 2 years Terrys had gone abroad with many many people losing their jobs..........
- Kate Bailey
Why can't we keep anything British. Cadbury 's has been the workplace in my family for many many years as far back as my Great Great Grandparents. So it will be a very sad day when it closes.
- Tracy Mullaney
What a very sad day,yet another British Company gone, will there be anything left ! Cadbury's is British and should stay British.
I feel for the employees, there are enough people out of work through no fault of there own. I am an avid fan of Cadbury's chocolate, just wondering what the future will hold now.
- Nikki - Wolverhampton
This is a really sad day for Birmingham and Great Britain. Cadbury is more or less the ONLY manufacturer of ANYTHING left in this beautiful country of ours; if we sell it off to Kraft then we virtually make nothing of any note at all in this country. The potteries are gone, the glass factories are gone, or going. The car industry is gone/woollen mills/carpet factories - all gone for greed. Cadbury is worth far, far more than money. It is one of the wonderful things that make Birmingham special. We lost Rowntree MacIntosh to Nestle, we lost Terrys to Kraft, please, please don't let Cadbury be lost to them too. I am not being sentimental - Britain is losing its uniqueness - the reason why people come here. Without the Shambles in York and other 'quaint' places around the country we would end up just becoming the 'same old, same old'. Cadbury is like the Shambles it has its own traditions and 'specialness' and as was said to me today is probably older as a company than the USA is as a country. Come on Britain hold on to something that we hold dear. Go for it shareholders - say NO to Kraft. The Cadbury name and way of life and the special quality of its products is worth more than greed.
- Sue Lloyd
Surely this company should be retained as British. It is a manufacturing company and possibly one of the only ways we can come out of this recession is to trade our way out we appear to be selling the rest of our assets along with the County's gold reserves. We are trying to cut our CO2s, with sales like this we might as well not bother as there will be nothing left for future generations.
The name "Cadburys" is synonymous with England and MUST stay English ... A dark chocolate bar called "New Yorker", rather than "Bournville", just doesn't have the same conotations of Englishness ... quite apart from the inevitable loss of jobs whatever they may promise not to do ...
- Trevor Bland
cadbury should stay hear in brition why should america take over everything
Yet another British Institution sold "to the highest bidder". God help us. All I can say is that all the shareholders should have watched "Mr Deeds" before making this pathetic decision. Once again we can only see the pound signs in front of are eyes.
The Prime Minister says the jobs will be safe - what does he know, his track record certainly does not reassure anyone!
Shame on you, the Americans will no doubt tear it apart.
- Margaret from Kidderminster
This is the worst day for our area and to Britain as a whole. A loss of Cadbury to an American company, who really cannot realise that this is another institution that will now be lost. I just cannot put into words what I have felt since the news came out this morning.
- Sandra Hughes