A majority of employees in Danish Crown’s pork division have rejected proposals presented by the slaughterhouse workers’ trade union two weeks ago to invest up to £68 million of their pay in Danish pig production over the next four years.
The proposal was aimed to re-establish some Danish production of pigs for slaughter, which in recent years has quit the country, thereby safeguarding jobs in the Danish slaughterhouse industry.
However, after the proposal was voted down, it now raises the prospect of losing more Danish workplaces instead.
“As union representatives, we were well aware that we were embarking on a completely new course of action by proposing that we, the employees, should invest in our own workplaces,” the chairman of the committee of union representatives and workplace union representative at the slaughterhouse in Horsens, Lars Mose, said. “However, we were doing so because we truly hoped that our colleagues would support this initiative to safeguard our jobs.”
In the run-up to the vote, the CEO of Danish Crown Pork, Jesper Friis, and owner representatives Erik Bredholt and Asger Krogsgaard, chairman and vice-chairman respectively of Danish Crown’s board of directors, attended meetings with the company’s 6,000 slaughterhouse workers.
“Of course, some people have been sceptical, but in my view we had a constructive dialogue and saw a desire to find solutions to the issues,” Mr Friis said. “Nevertheless, despite the constructive discussions, a majority of employees decided to vote no to the proposal, leaving a sense of disappointment among Danish Crown’s owners.”
“In principle, it’s not for the employees to become involved in pig production,” Mr Bredholt added, “but the number of pigs for slaughter produced in Denmark bears little relation to the number of workplaces in the country, and therefore it’s obviously a pity that the vote has been unsuccessful.”
In the coming months, Danish Crown will decide how it can best match capacity with the number of pigs for slaughter that are available for slaughter in Denmark.