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Labour leader Andrew Little has criticised the corporate "greed'' behind Mondelez International's plan to close Dunedin's Cadbury factory.
Mr Little, who is in Dunedin today, met union representatives at the Cadbury factory this morning to discuss the company's proposal, which would cost 362 workers their jobs.
Speaking to media after emerging from his visit, Mr Little said workers were "still in a bit of shock'' and needed support.
He called on Mondelez to allow Cadbury staff to take up new job offers without losing their redundancy entitlements, but also criticised the company's approach.
"We've got to remember, Cadbury's is doing this not because their plant is not profitable. They just want more profit out of it. They are doing it for greed.
"That cannot be an argument to say to local families that they should miss out on their redundancy compensation if they find a good reason to go early.''
He also criticised Mondelez's "unlawful'' attempts to gag its staff and prevent them talking to media, saying workers had a right to be heard.
"Their apparent gagging of the workforce is unlawful. Nobody can be prevented from talking to anybody about how they feel about it, the experience for them.
"I think the company's just got to knock off the mega-global corporate sort of autocratic tendencies and understand that this is emotional, it's difficult for people, and people have got to be allowed to say how they feel about it.''