Department store V&D is telling staff it needs to cut 220 jobs, but the final number will depend on how much of a wage cut they are willing to accept, according to the two unions negotiating with the company.
The 220 job losses are part of a package aimed at saving €10m on personnel costs. Staff are being asked to take a 4% cut in wages in two steps.
At staff meetings around the country V&D is saying the number of redundancies is dependent on how much of a wage cut is accepted. The lower the cut, the higher the number of redundancies, according to the FNV and CNV unions. They say they no longer want to sit at the table with management because the company does not want to negotiate.
Last month, V&D lost a court case brought by the two unions on behalf of its members. However, the company said it would still press ahead with a wage cut for non-union members. Of the 5,000 staff, 1,100 are union members.
V&D is appealing against the court ruling and wants to remain in negotiations with the unions. The wage bill must be lowered to stave off bankruptcy, the company told news agency ANP at the time. It is impossible to compete with ‘newcomers to the market’ such as H&M, Zara and Primark, who do not have ‘an inherited history of high rental and wage costs’, the company said.
Both unions are now angry with the way in which V&D are dealing with the situation. ‘The fact they are appealing against the original 5.8% wage cut shows they are not serious about a deal,’ Martijn den Heijer of the CNV told broadcaster Nos. ‘The next thing will be blaming us for the redundancies.’
V&D was saved from bankruptcy in February when it made an agreement with the owners of its 63 properties to temporarily reduce the rent. It is now in talks with its landlords on a long-term solution.
The company made a loss in both 2012 and 2013 and lost a further €49m in 2014.
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