Perfetti Van Melle staff in the Netherlands have reached a deal on pay after recent strike action – but fellow candy giant Mars and Dutch producer Royal Fassin remain locked in talks.
FNV, the Netherlands’ largest trade union, told Just Food its had negotiated a pay rise at Dutch confectionery and chewing gum manufacturer Perfetti Van Melle that members were “content with”.
It follows industrial action over working conditions and pay at the start of May at the company, which makes sweets including Chupa Chups, Mentos and Fruittella.
Around 100 workers walked out during a three-day strike at the company’s Mentos factory in Breda. A collective labour agreement had been agreed between two “smaller” unions but was rejected by 80% of FNV members, FNV food industry director Eric Brouwer told Just Food at the time.
Employees will receive a pay rise of €150 ($162) a month, in addition to what had been offered in the collective agreement. “This means the average pay raise for people in the lower scales will be 10.9% up to even 12.9% in the first year,” a union spokesperson said.
They added: “We are content with the agreement and it shows – once again – what the people in factories and other organisations can achieve when they join forces and stand up for themselves.”
Meanwhile, discussions continue at a Mars factory in the Netherlands over wages and working conditions. A strike over what the union described as “meagre” wage increases at the US giant’s Veghel-based confectionery plant was called off earlier in the month as board members opened negotiations with the union.
Talks are also underway at Netherlands-headquartered confectionery maker Royal Fassin, FNV said. There have been no strikes at the company yet.
Royal Fassin specialises in fruit-gum sweets and liquorice and its website states it employs more than 400 staff and exports to more than 50 countries.
FNV previously predicted further strike action in the confectionery sector following the disquiet at Mars and Perfetti Van Melle.
It said: “[Members are] restless at many biscuit and candy companies. The FNV tries to agree on decent wage increases, but the manufacturers are opposed… New actions are already planned, also in other places.”
The Netherlands employs 11,000 people in the confectionery sector, across nearly 200 companies.