Mondelez International and the Unite trade union are celebrating a successful outcome to two-year marathon negotiations over modernising the Cadbury’s Bournville plant.

Two hundred and fifty-five people have agreed to leave via voluntary redundancy, 50 of whom have already left. The others will look to leave within the two-year investment cycle by the end of 2016. 

“They will be allowed to leave on a very good enhanced-terms redundancy package where some will take in excess of £100,000,” Clarke said. The company also agreed to no compulsory redundancies.

The successful outcome will boost the factory’s efficiency and put it in a better position to compete for new work.vThe company will invest £75m in the site as it strips out six outdated manufacturing lines and install four that are “state of the art”. Mondelez will also redevelop some of the site.

Joe Clarke, Unite lead officer for food, drink, and tobacco for Cadbury, said the factory would become the fifth most efficient site out of 21 competing plants in the UK: “This is really good news because it means they will be in a much more competitive position to get new work.”

The 650 remaining staff will adopt more flexible working and take on extra skills with the appropriate training provided.

“There will be a pay increase of 2% for the people taking on the new skill requirements. This will all aid the plant being more modern, competitive and flexible going forward enabling it to bid for more work in the future,” said Clarke.

A spokesman for Mondelez International said “we are pleased that the consultation with colleagues and their representatives is progressing in a positive and constructive manner. From the outset, we have been clear that to secure the £75 million investment and therefore the next generation of manufacturing at Bournville, we will need to become cost competitive.”

During consultation, the company agreed that this would mean fewer people working in Bournville in the future. 

“Our preference is always to look for voluntary redundancies to achieve any reductions. Through conversations with our workforce, a number of employees have asked for voluntary redundancy, indicating that we can achieve the necessary reductions through a voluntary approach,” he said. “We have been clear as part of consultation that we need everyone to play their part if we are to secure the next generation of manufacturing at Bournville.”