Meat packer Danish Crown is phasing out operations at its slaughterhouse in Esberg, costing 500 jobs. The western Jutland location is expected to be completely closed by August.
The company will increase production at its other locations around the country and said that 300 of the 500 affected employees will have the chance to relocate to another facility.
"It is not clear at this time where the new jobs will be located, but the emphasis will be on northern Jutland," Søren Eriksen, the production director at Danish Crown, told jp.dk. Eriksen said the company’s slaughterhouse in Sæby will see the most new workers.
Eriksen blamed a lack of pigs and high production costs for the company’s decision to close up shop in Esberg.
"It’s a tough decision,” said Eriksen. “But if we are to keep jobs in Denmark, where production costs are much higher than in the surrounding countries, we must be willing to adjust.”
When production stops in Esberg at the end of August, the 500 laid-off workers will have the first option to take one of the 300 newly created positions at other Danish Crown locations.
"It is up to individual employees whether or not they want to move, but it is a long way from Esbjerg to Sæby," Eriksen told epn.dk.
Employees who choose to move will not be hit by pay cuts because working agreements are the same throughout Danish Crown slaughterhouses. Danish Crown's Hadsund location closed down in September of last year.