Negotiations over wages have scuttled a potential deal between Danish Crown, industry representatives and the leaders of the slaughterhouse union NNF. The company now says it has no choice but to completely shut down its facility in Rønne.
“NNF has said a firm ‘no’ to a pay cut, so there is no way for us to continue to operate the slaughterhouse on the island,” Danish Crown spokesperson Anne Villemoes told DR Nyheder.
Danish Crown management is on the island today to officially inform workers of the shutdown.
The closure will cost the already hard-pressed island some 200 jobs and require 450,000 pigs to be shipped off the island annually to be slaughtered.
So close, yet so far
Workers, pig producers and island leaders have been working for five months to find the 25 million kroner in yearly cuts that Danish Crown said it needed to keep the facility open. The company said that most of the savings had been achieved, but the union's refusal to accept an eight percent pay cut placed the entire plan in the dustbin.
Slaughterhouse workers had agreed to salary cuts, provided that the money was put into a fund for investments and that they would get the money back at some point. Danish Crown balked at the repayment plan.
Union and business representatives said that agreeing to the pay cuts on Bornholm would set a bad precedent for negotiations nationwide.
The closure is a hard blow to Bornholm, which already suffers from relatively high unemployment. The slaughterhouse expects to butcher its last pig sometime in the autumn.