DENMARK/SWEDEN: Unions protest Carlsberg closure
Swedish unions have gone to Carlsberg's Danish investors to try to prevent the closure of the company's Stockholm plant. Two unions have published an advert in today's edition of Danish business daily, Borsen, claiming the decision to close the plant by October 2004 is politically motivated.
The unions, Svenska Livsmedelsarbetare Foerbundet and the Federation of Salaried Employees in Industry and Services, represent over half of the 800 employees at the plant. They believe that the company is overproducing in its home market of Denmark and does not want to cut jobs there.
Dow Jones reported that the unions say the pending closure also threatens Carlsberg's market share in the entire Nordic region. "They're putting the whole Swedish market at risk," Tapio Laanti, a representative of Svenska Livsmedelsarbetare, told Dow Jones. "The management of Carlsberg isn't acting on an economic basis."
A spokesperson for Carlsberg told the news service that the decision was irreversible. "We have an overcapacity in Sweden," Margrethe Skov said. "The market is changing quite rapidly and it's taken … three months of negotiations with unions before the board of Carlsberg Sweden arrived at this decision."
The company hopes to save 70m Swedish kronor (US$9.4m) annually from the closure, with production in Sweden moving to its last remaining brewery in the country in Falkenberg, and to a plant in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Carlsberg has not announced yet what will happen to the administration of its Swedish unit. A decision is expected before the end of the year.
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