The processor is stopping the night-shift at the slaughterhouse because there are not enough pigs to ensure a full working week. It said that although the number of pigs has increased in recent months, it hasn’t been as much as expected.
The shift will close on 1 June, with 140 employees losing their jobs. However, 70 will be offered the opportunity to continue as holiday cover workers until September.
Danish Crown pork production director Per Laursen said: “It is with great regret that we have made the decision, but it is unfortunately necessary. I am sorry that we have to say goodbye to skilled employees who have been very enthusiastic about the fact that we created the extra team at night this summer. They have done a great job, and the same have colleagues who have helped to educate their new colleagues.”
"We will do our best to help those fired in collaboration with the Food NNF and the local job centre,” said Laursen. “We launch our social plan where each employee is invited to a conversation to clarify his and her opportunities, as well as creating a job bank for the employees. Among other things, there will be opportunities for courses and education paid by Danish Crown.”
In May last year, Danish Crown launched a growth package to stop the decline in the number of pigs for fattening. It has been successful and, since 1 October, the business has seen an increase of around 2% compared to the previous year, but this was much lower than the expected rise of over 5%.
Danish Crown Pork CEO Søren F Eriksen added: “When we decided to employ more people last year, it was a real choice. Several shareholders joined us, we received about half a million extra pigs and we had a legitimate expectation that different measures would result in additional slaughterers. However, they have not arrived, due to the fact that more shareholders than expected have stopped slaughtering and, in parallel, we have seen that the exports of Danish piglets sent to fattening and slaughter in Germany and Poland have continued to rise. Unfortunately, this combination has consequences for us and our employees now and in the future.
He did express hope that throughputs would increase again.
“We have justified hope that more pigs will be slaughtered, so we may need skilled employees again. We still firmly believe in the ambitious growth strategy that Danish Crown planned in 2016, and we are ready to invest DKK4 billion to DKK5 billion in acquisitions... because this is the way to secure both our owners - the Danish farmers - a better settlement and good jobs at our factories in Denmark.”