Happy Oompa Loompas?

Written By: - Date published: 12:48 pm, October 14th, 2017 - 9 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, class, class war, unemployment, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

There’s not much I can say about this. Yes, I’ve been in WINZ seminars where unemployment is sold back as an opportunity, and yes, I’ve encountered enough bosses who effortlessly, and even with indulgent smiles, slide on by any sliver of conscience they might still have. But then there’s Cadbury’s…

Here’s the link to an Otago Daily Times piece (quoted below) that’s accompanied by a video.

During the motivational ceremony, Mondelez International Dunedin site manager Judith Mair gave the workers a  graduation pack, chock-a-block with goodies to help inspire them.Each received a copy of the Dr Seuss book Oh, the Places You’ll Go! During her speech, she quoted from the book.

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

“That’s so true for all of us right now,” she said.

The pack also included a pair of Cadbury socks (for walking in the direction you choose), a box of Cadbury Favourites (to sustain them on their journey), and a bottle of bubbly to celebrate their achievements.

I really don’t think I can say much.  My heads reeling…at the employers display of faux concern; at the worker’s gratitude; at  the facile descriptive nature of the reporting. A song line from Chumbawamba’s 1987 “Never Mind the Ballots” is about all that comes to mind. “They break our legs. And we say Thankyou when they offer us crutches.”

Footnote. The Oompa loompas in the post’s graphic are spelling out YMCA. Make of that what you will.


9 comments on “Happy Oompa Loompas?”

  1. Michael 1

    Most of those so honoured will be kicked to the curb in a few week’s time when Cadburys/Mondelez closes the factory – not because the workers are losing the multinational’s money but because they are not making enough. Dunedin, in the form of the city council and the Otago Daily Times, are forced to grovel and prostrate themselves before Mondelez, as they are doing in the front-page advertorial this morning, in order to stop the corporate barons from dismantling the plant and destroying it completely, as they threatened if the city and its people did not display a reverential attitude towards them. This act of capitalist destruction would frustrate efforts by the Council to retain the plant, and a few of the redundant workers, as a museum to the good old days when the city actually produced things, even if only blocks of glutinous, artery-clogging Caramello (it’s no coincidence that Dunedin also hosts a busy cardiology group at its hospital although it, too, is under threat of closure by neloiberal interests). Anyway, a prescient vignette of contemporary provincial Aotearoa.

    • Bill 1.1

      The thing about hoping to appease the Mondelez’s of this world is that it simply makes it all the easier for them to bring the boot down and to then apply a final excruciating twist of the boot sole that finally snubs out any would be appeaser.

      That plant will be destroyed if that’s what Mondelez want to do. No amount of genuflection by any City Council will make one iota of difference to that decision.

      Being “nice” is hugely dis-empowering and just paves the way rather more pleasantly (for Mondelez) than might otherwise be the case.

    • Ovid 1.2

      Dunedin has suffered so many blows in recent years. Fisher and Paykel, AgResearch, the Hillside works, Cadbury and now the university. We’ve got a hospital falling apart too.

      It’s home, but I dunno. Everyone has a breaking point.

      • cathy 1.2.1

        personally i think the hillside works was the most criminal of that

        mark one up for bill english

  2. AB 2

    Workers develop loyalty to their co-workers and to the products they make. As a result they don’t always behave in ways that would seem rational to an outsider. Personally, I spent a couple of years travelling backwards and forward to Asia, in effect outsourcing myself. That’s because I didn’t want the products and software I’d worked on for 15 years to be totally f*cked up. Of course, there was a little rational voice telling me (correctly) that they would be f*cked up whatever I did.
    In any case – that loyalty is super easy for employers to exploit. The exploitation is always couched in the unctuous language commonly used in business.

    • cathy 2.1

      fully understand you not wanting to see years of your work fcuked up, i’ve been in that situation as well and am facing the same thing again now

      the hardest thing is accepting that it will happen regardless of your efforts

  3. adam 3

    I just threw up in my mouth.

    We are so far down the road towards slavery/serfdom again, it could happen anytime soon.

  4. Shona 4

    My dad milked a small herd of cows for abut 10 years( 65 or 70) on our sustainable, organic mixed (pastoral and cropping) Taieri Plains farm, and supplied Cadbury during those 10 years with milk. Dad reckoned it was the best paid dairy gig he ever did ( he had had 3 dairy farms). We also got boxes of Hudson’s biscuits as part of the deal. We thought it was bliss. Life was great!
    It saddens me greatly to see Cadbury’s close. What Mondelez are doing is identical to Goodman Fielder Watties and their tactics in Gore when closing the grain mills there and destroying the grain cropping biz in Southland thereby setting up good land to be poisoned by dairying.

  5. Tracey 5

    The arrogance of ignorance borne most often from a place of privilege.

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