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Corporate practices: new agreement on “demography and the creation of a competitive and sustainable personnel structures” for Unilever DACH staff in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Project mostly initiated by the central WC.  It took the social partners at Unilever Deutschland four years to reach an agreement on “Demography and the creation of a competitive and sustainable personnel structure.”  “The first negotiations on the subject followed a groundbreaking agreement in the chemical industry in 2008” Michael Jaeger remembers (see our dispatches No.  080311 and 080782).  At the time, the sector’s social partners signed the first sectoral agreement to give weight to the demographic factor in Germany.  The agreement notably led to the creation if a “sectoral demographic fund” paid for by businesses and in charge of helping SMEs in the sector face the problems raised by demographic ageing.  “Two of our German plants belong in the chemical industry and were affected by the project.  And it made us think.  Besides, Hermann Soggeberg, the leader of our central WC, specializes in demographic issues.  Therefore, we started working on the subject at his initiative” Jaeger explains.  Soggeberg says that the idea also came after Unilever went through a “rough decade with a lot of personnel movement in the company.”  He explains, “We wanted to head towards a positive, useful concept, namely create a procedure to durably stabilize employment while increasing the company’s efficiency.”  In the end, after creating a bargaining committee made up of 35 people in April 2011, and after working for one year, an agreement was signed on February 15, 2012.

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