Unions, Unilever agree on factory closures

Unions and management at Unilever have reached a deal on job losses following three factory closures, ending what some say is the longest period of industrial action in the company’s Dutch history.

Unilever announced earlier that three factories in Delft (peanut butter) , Vlaardingen (Knorr) and Loosdrecht (cleaning materials) are to close with the loss of 474 jobs.
Unions and management have now agreed that staff will be given a golden handshake depending on their length of service – roughly one month’s salary for each year worked. Unilever has also agreed to set aside €25m for extra measures.
Unilever has also given a jobs guarantee at three other factories in Rotterdam, Oss and Hellendoorn until 2011. In total, they employ 800 people.
The strike ends just as supermarkets were beginning to fear for supplies, NOS tv reported. In particular, products with a limited shelf-life were in danger of running out.
Unions and management have also agreed a two-year pay deal worth 6.5% for some three-quarters of the company’s Dutch personnel.

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