Panrico to resume paying staff some of their wages

Panrico to resume paying staff some of their wages

Ailing Spanish baker Panrico has agreed to resume partially paying staff after talks with union officials.

Panrico said today (4 October) workers will receive some money from Wednesday. Two weeks ago, Panrico suspended the pay of over 4,000 employees as part of plans to stave off possible insolvency.

Last week, at a meeting with unions, Panrico put forward plans to cut 1,900 jobs and reduce salary costs by a third. Union officials walked out of the meeting.

This week, the UGT and CCOO unions announced they would launch an "indefinite strike" affecting Panrico operations across Spain from next Sunday - in protest at the suspension of pay.

This week also saw Panrico file for creditor protection to give itself some breathing space as it tries to restructure a business that has run up losses of EUR700m in the last four years.

In a statement today, Panrico said the two sides had met again to discuss the situation.

"The parties agreed on one goal: to create a sustainable future for Panrico," the company, owned by private-equity firm Oaktree Capital Management, said.

"The ultimate goal of this process, which we all take part , is to solve the extreme losses of the company, and although it is just the beginning we have taken a significant step."

Panrico claimed it is losing EUR150,000 a day and added: "It is an unaffordable situation. We all have the firm intention of saving Panrico and for that we are putting all the necessary elements in place and working to align all the parts in their operations: workers, suppliers and, of course , customers."

The UGT and CCOO unions said they could look to call off the nationwide strike if talks continue, Panrico consults them on the restructuring plans and management commit to pay staff in full "in the next few weeks".