Symrise guarantees German jobs but workers will have to accept less

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Employment

Symrise will not be making any cuts to its German workforce for the next five years having signed an agreement with the industrial union.

The fragrance and flavour manufacturer has agreed not to reduce the number of employees in Germany although its workers will feel the move in their pay packets.

In return for assuring German jobs the company will be exempt from a number of German labour laws, in the deal signed with the Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union (IG BCE).

Save €20m from the move

According to Symrise, the deal with the IG BCE will allow it to save €20m over five years, assuring the ‘ongoing competitiveness of the company’.

There are three different ways the company will be saving money, explained Symrise spokesperson Katja Derow.

“Through the agreement they will reduce the shift supplements to the normal level in Germany. Production workers who have been paid more than the usual supplement for working night shifts etc will be paid the accepted German level,”​ she said.

In addition, the company will only have to pay a certain percentage of the annual salary increases that are set by the German unions.

“If the union decides the annual salary increase should be 6 per cent, Symrise will not have to pay 100 per cent of this,”​ she explained.

The final money saving measure is the maintenance of the 40 hour week. Symrise employees will continue to work 40 hours rather than 38 unlike most other industrial players in the region.

Evidently, these moves will be felt by individual employees but Derow said they will be rewarded with job security which is increasingly rare in the current industrial climate.

The labour agreement with the IG BCE is a uniquely German affair and will have little effect on the company’s international presence, said Derow.

“While the German sites now have a level of security that other locations don’t there should be no effect on other regions,”​ she said.

Symrise currently employs around 5,000 people globally, 2,300 of whom are based in Germany.

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