Department store V&D has been stopped by a court in Amsterdam from cutting union members’ salaries by 5.8% in an effort to improve the company’s finances.
However, the pay cut can go ahead for non-unionised staff, because there is ‘insufficient’ evidence that non-unionised workers support the trade unions’ position, the court said in its ruling.
V&D immediately launched an appeal.
It is unclear if the company, which is owned by a US private equity group, intends to press on with the pay cut for non-union workers. ‘The measure can be brought in for a majority of workers. V&D is looking into this,’ the company said in a statement.
‘We won on behalf of our members,’ said FNV spokesman Niels Suijker. ‘We had asked the court to make a ruling on behalf of all workers but it did not do this. It remains to be seen what V&D will do. Will the company make an odd differentiation in pay?’ Around 25% of V&D staff are union members, he said.
V&D chief executive Don Roach told news agency ANP he remains convinced of the need for a pay cut. ‘In the new economy, in which the retail landscape is changing fast, it is vital that we reduce wage costs to the industry norm,’ he said.
V&D earlier made an agreement with the owners of its 63 properties to temporarily reduce the rent.
The company made a loss in both 2012 and 2013 and last week announced that in 2014 it lost a further €49m.
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