Danish abattoir workers to invest in pig production

The committee of union representatives at Danish Crown has presented a proposal to invest up to £68 million of the slaughterhouse workers’ pay in Danish pig production over the next four years.

The proposal is designed to reverse the downward trend in the number of jobs at Danish Crown’s pig abattoirs by re-establishing the production of pigs for slaughter by the company’s members.

“It’s a ground-breaking proposal that will be submitted to all staff for a vote,” said the chairman of the committee of union representatives, Lars Mose. “However, the trend which we have been witnessing for several years has also been quite drastic in terms of the number of colleagues we have at the pig slaughterhouses in Denmark. We want to reverse this trend. This is all about our jobs.”

The initiative has been put forward by the committee of union representatives, and the proposal has been negotiated with the management of the Danish Crown group’s pork division, DC Pork.

“This is an admirable and very responsible step by the committee of union representatives,” DC Pork CEO Jesper Friis said. “It also means that, for the first time in many years, we are looking towards a four-year period during which we will not be closing down pig slaughterhouses, and this is very positive.

“For this to happen, the proposal must, of course, generate the intended results, and secure a sufficient number of pigs for slaughter for us to utilise our capacity.”

The aim of the proposal is to increase the production of pigs for slaughter by up to three million animals during the next four years. If realised, this will not only secure Danish workplaces, but lead to the creation of new jobs.

“We have just presented a comprehensive strategy on how to improve the financial performance of DC Pork, and now the union representatives are showing the way by making a significant contribution,” Mr Friis added. “It means that everybody in DC Pork will be working towards changing the current situation. Consequently, we are also looking forward to seeing the very positive political announcements made by both the Danish Minister for Business and Growth Henrik Sass Larsen and the Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark Karen Hækkerup being translated into concrete measures.”

“We face the prospect of having to say goodbye to yet another big group of colleagues if the current decline in the production of pigs for slaughter continues,” Mr Mose added. “Therefore, what we are proposing is not another cost-cutting exercise for the slaughterhouse – rather, the agreement is conditional upon all the money being spent on co-financing an increase in the production of pigs for slaughter by Danish Crown’s owners.”

Investing the money will also be conditional upon individual farmers actually being able to increase their production.

“It is a unique initiative that can create stability in the agricultural sector,” the chairman of Danish Crown’s board of Directors, Erik Bredholt, said. “With an investment fund like this, we are paving the way for some very necessary investments in pig production – investments that must be backed up by the farmers and the financial institutions.”

Employees are now studying the proposal in detail, and will vote on them at end of this month.

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