A wonderfully heartwarming story, this; the power of the local press. Cadbury's are closing their factory in Keynsham and the benevolent local paper, the Bristol Evening Post, is stepping in with a campaign.
Hang on a minute, though. Is this the same Evening Post that booted out 36 of its own staff last year, claiming the money was needed to safeguard the future of the business - a business that went on to help the Daily Mail post record profits?
The paper urges its readers to sign up and help the campaign for the poor Cadbury workers who're getting dumped on the scrapheap just because the parent company wants to make a fast buck. But when its own parent company, Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), wanted to make a fast buck, they bent over and took it like a bitch, throwing out its own hard-working staff so they could save £45million, with 850 in total leaving the company. Interestingly enough, that's 350 more jobs than they're trying to save at the Cadbury factory.
Presumably to 'shame' Cadbury's, the Post went on to list the remuneration of its directors, with the total wage bill for the four main Cadbury directors coming to £6.4 million. Strangely enough there's not room in the article to mention the remuneration of DMGT's directors. But luckily, I have the room here, so away we go with the 2006 figures:
Viscount Rothermere £827,000 (28% pay rise)
Charles Sinclair £1.375million (up 43%)
Peter Williams £785,000 (up 42%)
Paul Dacre £1.234million (up 23%)
Padraic Fallon £2.240million (down 5%! The poor lamb)
But what of the Bristol Evening Post itself? I'm not sure about that as they're a little more Secret Squirrel about the figures - all we know is that the highest paid director, Steve Anderson-Dixon, scrapes by on £125,000 but had share options last year amounting to £360,000. This at a time when staff are being offered a pathetic 2.5% as a pay rise.
The point I'm making is that you can look at any sewer-sucking corporate shit-machine, like Cadbury's and DMGT, and find noses in the trough. It's a bit rich to suddenly decide it's A Bad Thing, especially when you're part of it yourself and when the company you work for is taking part in exactly the same thing.
What is so hypocritical is that top brass at the Evening Post - the same individuals who have organised this campaign against redundancies at Cadbury - were those people who said yes to DMGT when they demanded redundancies for 'streamlining', then went about the business of selecting the people they wanted to get rid of. Yet when they sense there's a chance to snare in a few readers in Keynsham by pretending to care about workers there, they'll make sure they look like the working man's champions.
The trouble is, what are we left to think about the Post? Does it support workers or not? Does it really care about the Cadbury's chocolate people? Or does it only think that redundancies are a good thing when it's making them itself? Or, perhaps the answer is even simpler. Anything to pile on a few readers to a newspaper that's losing them by the bucketload - curiously enough, losing readers ever since it decided to get rid of so many of its own staff. Funny that.
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