Trade unions and management have finally reached an agreement at Carrefour Belgium, which will be presented to the employees later this week. An early retirement scheme has however shocked some of the political parties.
233 fewer jobs cut
There would be no straight dismissals, Belgian newspaper La Libre found out: most jobs would be cut through voluntary termination of employment and through the early retirement for people aged 56 or over. Moreover, 233 jobs would be saved altogether as no stores would close, limiting total job loss to around 1,000. Those are still necessary as the company's headquarters will be made more efficient and a number of hypermarkets made smaller. Employees who decide to leave voluntarily will receive a handsome bonus, while those who stay can count of an assured employment of 4.5 years.
However, one measure is still threatening the agreement: the clause that employees can go on an early retirement from the age of 56, still granting them 95 % of their former wages. The Belgian government has to agree to such measures though, as they are quite costly for its budget. Flemish nationalist party NV-A stated that Minister for Work Kris Peeters should not give his permission to a measure that "gives such a wrong signal" to everyone who has to work longer and to companies who are looking for new staff.