DENMARK - Danish Crown management has said it will not be able to save the 190 jobs at the slaughterhouse on the island of Bornholm because of the stand taken by the Danish Food and Allied Workers’ Union NNF.
"We presented an ultimate proposal to NNF, which the union has blankly rejected. We hope that they will reconsider the decision over the next few days, and up until 9 o’clock on Monday morning we are willing to listen to what they might have to say However, the announcement made this evening is quite clear, and in light of that, the slaughterhouse’s days are numbered," said Jesper Friis CEO of DC Pork (pictured) on 27 May.
Almost five months of intense negotiations have preceded the decision by the slaughterhouse group; in fact, as recently as earlier this week there was hope that an agreement could be reached on the cutbacks which are necessary to save the slaughterhouse.
"All other parties involved have suggested solutions involving sacrifice or costs. Unfortunately, we have to face the fact that the Danish Food and Allied Workers’ Union NNF is unwilling to look at the pay costs, which means that we cannot proceed with the plan. That is how it is," said Jesper Friis.
"The Danish Crown slaughterhouse is one of the largest private workplaces on Bornholm. Given the special situation on Bornholm, we drew up an ambitious plan, and the owners as well as our cooperation partners and the local politicians have subsequently devoted considerable efforts to finding solutions. However, from the outset we made it perfectly clear that we would have to look at pay costs at the slaughterhouse because production on the island cannot be maintained at average hourly rates of DKK 197. But the Danish Food and Allied Workers’ Union NNF does not see things the same way."
He stressed that Danish Crown has always been committed to finding a viable solution.
"But we have been quite clear about what was required from the outset. We would have to cut operating costs at the slaughterhouse on Bornholm by DKK 20-25 million. If the Danish Food and Allied Workers’ Union NNF had accepted our proposal, we could have realised savings of just under DKK 20 million a year. And even if that was not quite enough, it would have been encouraging enough for us to continue operations," said Jesper Friis.
Danish Crown expects to close down the slaughterhouse on Bornholm in early Autumn 2014. A job bank will be established to help employees find work elsewhere, and a social plan will also be prepared for each person.
TheMeatSite News Desk