Social plan signed at CLEARSTREAM
On Wednesday 12 December 2018, the ALEBA, OGBL and LCGB unions and the employee representatives of Clearstream Banking and Clearstream International signed a social plan that will affect 212 employees.
As announced in the German and Luxembourg press in early May 2018, the Deutsche Börse group, to which Clearstream belongs, has decided to axe several hundred jobs in the two countries.
Despite profits of EUR 1.5 billion, the group’s strategy involves funding technological change (blockchain, robotics, cloud, etc.) and cutting costs by reducing the workforce and moving activities to cheaper locations in Europe (nearshoring).
The consequences for Luxembourg are immense. One fifth of the workforce – 212 people – will ultimately be affected by these measures. Under the plan, almost half of the affected employees will be forced to leave on a date imposed by the employer between now and the end of 2021, while the other half will comprise employees who decide to leave of their own accord, mainly in the affected teams. If not enough employees volunteer to leave by the end of April 2019, the number of forcible departures will be raised to ensure that 212 employees leave by the end of 2021.
A safeguard has been set up to ensure that the plan is executed properly. The Control Board, made up of equal numbers of representatives of the employees and of management, will have the primary task of reviewing any social measures within the plan to prevent the dismissal of the employees in question.
However, if departures become unavoidable, the unions and staff representatives have negotiated acceptable social and financial support measures. In this regard, the plan includes:
- measures to meet the needs of all generations, including older workers, who have a number of social options (contractual early retirement, part-time work, financial package that may be converted into an extended notice period, etc.);
- several measures to delay the termination of the employment contract (or the end of the contractual relationship) for as long as possible. There are several ways people can stay on the payroll and avoid becoming unemployed too soon.
- a way to enable individuals who wish to leave to swap places with someone facing unemployment, subject to certain conditions;
- the option for individuals to re-enrol in the social plan if they are dismissed from their new job during their probationary period;
While ALEBA, OGBL and LCGB acknowledge that the management team has faced up to its social responsibilities, the unions remain opposed to the idea that a profitable company, whose profits are boosted by this subsidiary in particular, should countenance such a social travesty. However, our greatest concern relates to how this plan will be executed and whether it will jeopardise the stability of the business. Responsibility for this will fall on the shoulders of the employees left behind, who are already overworked as it is.
This social plan adds to the sorry record of social plans in 2018, which have now affected 445 employees.
Roberto Mendolia Lena Batal Patrick Michelet
ALEBA OGBL-Financial Sector LCGB-Sesf