Negotiations at chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut Halle put on hold

Negotiations between management and unions at chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut in Halle over the impending restructuring will be temporarily halted to give management more time to come up with more detailed information. Talks will resume in September. 

The company announced in February that it was cutting more than 500 jobs at its sites in Wieze, Lokeren and Halle. The restructuring is part of a larger cost-cutting exercise by the Swiss chocolate maker that would see as many as 2,500 jobs slashed.

For the Halle plant, the intention was to cut 159 manufacturing and 19 office positions. Negotiations over the planned restructuring have been ongoing since late March.

While the second works council in April was said to have been constructive, uncertainty and ambiguity prevailed during the third works council meeting on Thursday.

“Certain fundamental issues are not yet fixed," said Hans Cristiaens, secretary of the BBTK union. “If there are still too many ‘maybes’ or ‘possibles’ in the plans, we cannot negotiate." It was therefore decided to pause the negotiations for a few months to give management time to come up with more detailed information.

The next talks are scheduled for 17 and 24 September. 



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