DHL Express European Management and trade unions, BBTK, LBC and ACLVB, today announced the signing of a Collective Labour Agreement outlining details of a support package for employees affected by the move of DHL’s European headquarters from Brussels to Bonn, Leipzig and Prague.
The social accord forged with the trade union representatives heralds a new era in which DHL as of today, in constructive consultation with its social partners, will be able to further build its local activities in Belgium.
The union’s presence by means of a syndical delegation is now a fact.
Ken Allen, global CEO, DHL Express said: “I am very pleased that, in close collaboration with our social partners, we have reached a solid agreement. DHL has faced tough challenges due to the global economic crisis, and, going forward, as markets recover, it is critical that we continue to have a close and mutually supportive partnership with our social partners.”
The three employee unions are unanimous: “The social plan is a good one, and contains the following key elements: proper guidance and support for those who will be moving to a different location, a motivational fee for the period prior to dismissal and redundancy remuneration, which is equal to a considerably improved Claeys formula. Finally, the aim is for job retention via possible mutations even within the group, and with a special focus on 52+ employees, where we will be looking at reemployment of this group rather than opting for pre-pension.”
Ken Allen continued: “The economic crisis meant that we had to take some difficult decisions, one of which was the relocation of our European headquarters, which was a necessary measure to create better synergies through close proximity to our other business units and the mother company Deutsche Post. We understand that the relocation of the European headquarters is challenging for our employees, and in recognition of this, together with our social partners, we developed a Collective Labor Agreement that embodies a comprehensive set of measures which will help our employees affected by this relocation project. We clearly recognize our social responsibility and are offering measures to support both the employees who wish to relocate and those who choose to stay in Belgium and transition out of the company.”
The union secretaries said: “It is important that we managed to limit the job cuts to the European functions. Local activities aren’t affected. This is a positive aspect and an important step also with regard to other negotiations which are still ongoing. The move of European activities from Belgium abroad remains of course very unfortunate and a difficult process for the employees. That is why it is crucial that the local and regional activities remain and are even further expanded in Belgium.”
Ken Allen concluded “Belgium is of great importance to DHL. We have always had close ties with the country, and I would like to stress that the changes pertaining to our European headquarters will have absolutely no impact on our local business operations here. DHL is market leader in the country, and we have a very strong country organisation that is committed to serving the Belgian market and our customers. With some 4,400 employees across the different locations in the country, Belgium is a strategic market and remains an important logistic hub for DHL.”