Unwillingness to Negotiate Leads to Job Losses

DENMARK - The Confederation of Danish Industry and the Food Workers’ Union NNF did not succeed in reaching a new collective agreement following their meetings with the Public Conciliator, Asbjørn Jensen.
calendar icon 23 March 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Throughout the bargaining procedure, the parties were too far apart, and this is now costing jobs.

Following the initial meeting with the Public Conciliator, an extraordinary meeting was held between the union representatives and the Danish Crown management, at which the union representatives emphasised that they were unanimously backing a declaration of intent proposing a pay freeze for 2010-2012 and a starting rate of pay for new employees.

However, during the negotiations, the Food Workers’ Union NNF decided to ignore the declaration of intent from a large majority of its members.

"Together with our union representatives we had given both our owners and employees reason to believe that we would together find a solution which would take us as close as possible to the finishing line in DC Future – most recently at the meeting of the Board of Representatives at the beginning of February which was attended by all the union representatives. I am therefore both surprised and disappointed that the Food Workers’ Union NNF did not listen to its members," said Kjeld Johannesen, CEO of Danish Crown.

A pay freeze was one of several elements designed to ensure fulfilment of the DC Future plan. Danish Crown must now therefore take the first step in its plan B, which will lead to Danish job losses.

"In the very near future, we must say good-bye to the first slaughterhouse employees, almost 600 in number. It is a great shame that the union has not realised the seriousness of the situation because, no matter what, we must fulfil the targets which we have outlined for our owners," continued Mr Johannesen.

"I am also surprised that the Food Workers’ Union NNF believes that additional payroll costs of DKK 50 million would not make any difference. This is not a question of saving Danish Crown as a company, but it is a question of whether the jobs in Danish Crown are in Denmark or in other countries," he concluded.

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