26 January 2010 16:43 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--More than 1,000 DSM workers have taken part in a demonstration over wages outside the company’s chemical plant in the southern Dutch town of Geleen, a spokesperson for the Netherlands-based chemical company said on Tuesday.
The industrial action took place between 07:00am and 09:00 local time outside the plant’s factory gates, after negotiations over a collective labour agreement between DSM and unions broke down.
After the demonstration took place, the employees went back to work, according to the spokesperson. However, the unions have been planning for further actions, which could involve more strikes.
According to traffic announcements at the time, the access road to the plant had been blocked and traffic on a nearby motorway was disrupted, but DSM said production was not affected by the demonstration.
Discussions over wage demands with unions began in May 2009. DSM, which was lossmaking until the third quarter of 2009, said in view of the economic situation at the time that it would be irresponsible to raise wages in 2009 and that it would also have limited wage increases in 2010, the spokesperson said.
In December, after several discussions, labour unions asked DSM to come up with a final offer, which they would consult with their members.
“DSM’s final offer was an unconditional wage increase in 2010 of 1.75% from the 1 February 2010. Or, to have a 2% wage increase from the 1 August, with the condition that if DSM in the Netherlands were still lossmaking in 2010, there would be a one-off payment of 0.5% in 2011,” said the spokesperson.
After speaking with its members, Dutch labour unions rejected DSM’s offer and announced action.
“Yesterday we made a very last attempt to reach a reasonable solution – a gentleman’s agreement – to meet each other half way, but that was also rejected and has led to the actions this morning, which we are quite disappointed about,” the spokesperson said.
“We really think the only way to resolve this is via dialogue, so we still invite the unions to come back to the table to try and find a solution,” the spokesperson added.
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry visit ICIS connect
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|