Extra money for dairy employees

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15 October 2004
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A dispute between SiD (The Danish Union for Unskilled Workers) NNF (The Danish Food & Allied Workers Union), KAD (The Danish Women Workers’ Union) and Danske Mejerister (The Danish Dairy Technicians’ Union) and Mejeribrugets Arbejdsgiverforening (The Association of Danish Dairy Employers) has now been settled.

On 26 November, 10,000 dairy technicians, dairy workers and drivers will receive an extraordinary payment of DKK 3.40 per working hour for the period 29 September 2003 to 26 September 2004. As the employer of the majority of the 10,000 employees, Arla Foods will incur extra costs of approx. DKK 40 million.

The conflict arose when the average wage in The Confederation of Danish

Employers’ 2002 wage statistics for processing and machine operators rose more than expected because 17,000 higher paid butchers were included. The hourly wage for this group thus increased by DKK 7.92 instead of DKK 3.67.

While initially, the Association of Danish Dairy Employers refused to recognise the increase, the Court of Arbitration in September overruled the employers’ decision. Since then, employers and labour organisations have held a series of meetings to discuss the details of the settlement.

Personnel Manager Lars Kaae, Arla Foods, says that the decision will cause a substantial amount of administrative work because the supplementary payment must be calculated for each employee on the basis of the number of working hours.

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Arla Foods is an international dairy company owned by 9,700 farmers from Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Arla Foods is one of the leading players in the international dairy arena with well-known brands like Arla®, Lurpak®, Puck® and Castello®. Arla Foods is focused on providing good dairy nourishment from sustainable farming and operations and is also the world's largest manufacturer of organic dairy products.

Press contact

Arla Group Press Office
Arla Group Press Office (journalists/media only) pressoffice@arlafoods.com +4591310310
Åse Andersson
Åse Andersson Head of Media Press contact for Arla Foods in Denmark aasan@arlafoods.com +45 91 310 310 +45 89 38 10 00
Carina Østergaard
Carina Østergaard Corporate Communication Manager Press contact for Arla Foods International caoes@arlafoods.com +45 91 31 16 01 +45 89 38 10 00