Barry Callebaut’s restructuring negotiations put on hold until September

The ongoing negotiations between management and unions at Barry Callebaut in Halle have been stalled for several months. The BBTK trade union secretary Hans Cristiaens announced this after the third works council meeting. Discussions will resume in September to allow management time to provide more detailed information.

Since the end of March, restructuring plans have been underway at the chocolate manufacturer. The Halle factory is looking to cut 178 jobs – 159 blue-collar and 19 white-collar positions – out of a total of 480. While the second works council in April was positive, recent meetings have been marked by uncertainty and lack of clarity.

Christiaens explained that certain key issues remain unresolved, hindering progress in negotiations. With too many uncertainties and potential scenarios in the plans, meaningful discussions cannot take place. To give management time to address these concerns, negotiations have been put on hold until September.

Following the first works council meeting in March, Cristiaens noted a lack of detailed information provided by management. A planned works council meeting in May was postponed, further adding to the delays. However, management has indicated that a framework agreement has been reached with European works councils, serving as a basis for future discussions.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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