Brewing group Heineken wants to make ‘drastic changes’ to the pay and conditions agreements at its Dutch arm to ensure the company remains globally competitive, the Financieele Dagblad says on Wednesday.
HR director Hans de Ruiter says in an interview that new employees earn between 20% and 30% more than they would in similar functions at other companies. He also wants to remove part of the Dutch organisation from the collective pay bargaining because it is hurting the company’s competitive edge, the FD says.
De Ruiter, who is also a member of the board at employers’ organisation VNO-NCW, has raised the lopsided pay situation internally, the FD says. However unions and the works council oppose change because they fear it will lead to a two-tier workforce.
‘We are healthy now but if we want to be in that position in a couple of years, we will have to dare to look at salaries,’ the FD quotes De Ruiter as saying. ‘We are not asking our staff to take a 20% pay cut… but at least establish the way for the future.’
Heineken employs some 2,700 people in the Netherlands, the FD says.
Union leader Jet Grimbergen said they are currently in the middle of pay negotiations and De Ruiter has not made concrete proposals for change.
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