Kraft attacked over China relocation plans

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Kraft, Beijing

A labour union at Kraft's Chinese division said the firm violated
labour laws by not adequately informing its employees about the
relocation of its headquarters in the country, according to local
news reports.

Kraft first said it was considering moving its Chinese headquarters to Shanghai from Beijing in January, although the company did not give any explanations for the move at the time. However, the labour union for Kraft's workers in China is now accusing the company of failing to keep its staff updated on the relocation plans, citing new laws that require a company to consult with its staff before making major decisions that affect their interests, according to the China Daily. The news may serve as a warning to other manufacturers wishing to move operations to China, a country often seen as not having labour laws as stringent as those in other countries. According to Reuters, a Kraft spokesperson told the press last week that the company would offer jobs in Shanghai to half its 250 non-sales staff in Beijing, while the other half would be offered severance pay. She did add, however, that many of the workers would be left without a job as they would be unwilling or unable to relocate, the news agency said. Kraft's offices in both the US and Singapore did not respond in time for comment when contacted by BakeryAndSnacks.com. Kraft first entered the Chinese market in 1984, and is now one of the largest biscuit and powdered beverage manufacturers in the country. Regional president Mark Clouse said last year that China will continue to be one of the major markets for the firm, and promised continued investment and input over the next ten years. Kraft is the second-largest food company in the world, with global sales of $10.4bn (€6.6bn) in 2007. The top-selling bakery brand in the Asia Pacific region was Oreo cookies, the company said last month.

Related topics: Business, East Asia, Supply chain, China

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