Negotiations related to the social conditions of the 94 redundancies are expected to start the week of 14 October 2019
According to Luxembourg union OGBL, the board of directors of RTL Group has greenlighted the axing of 94 posts at its corporate centre in Luxembourg as part of a restructuring plan, a statement that RTL Group has contested, saying some employees will be transferred.
According to union OGBL, the losses will see staffing numbers at the Kirchberg centre diminish from 112 to 18.
However, in a press statement issued on Tuesday afternoon, an RTL spokesman contested the numbers. He wrote:
“According to the current plans, the workforce of the total Corporate Centre of RTL Group is expected to be reduced from 192 to 142 employees, 44 of whom would work in Cologne and 98 in Luxembourg in the future. RTL Group S.A. is and will remain incorporated in Luxembourg.
Unions OGBL and LCGB have questioned whether the decision will prompt further reflection from the Luxembourg government on its agreement with RTL Group, CLT-UFA and Bertelsmann, which specifies that the group's headquarters must be located in Luxembourg, as Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel (DP) pointed out in a parliamentary question on 2 October:
“This agreement stipulates, among other things, that Luxembourg must remain the company's registered office. One of RTL Group's contractual obligations is therefore to ensure that the Luxembourg State makes available up to €10 million of public funds per year for RTL's Luxembourg television programme until 2023.”
The unions question whether it can still be considered the group's registered office if only 18 of the 112 employees of the corporate centre remain there.
According to Paperjam, the unions felt cheated in negotiations. “The staff delegation and the unions believe that the consultation process with the board of directors and management was a mere formality and that the restructuring decision had already been taken,” they said in a joint statement.
The RTL rep said the group management wanted to conduct negotiations quickly. He wrote:
“The objective is to achieve a fair social plan that will include measures to maintain employment in other RTL Group entities in Luxembourg, a training budget and severance packages. These packages will recognise the contribution of the employees to RTL Group’s success over many years. The management aims to have open and constructive discussions with the staff delegation and unions. RTL Group’s management will also give priority to employment preservation measures in future negotiations.”
Negotiations are expected to start the week of 14 October 2019.
This article was updated at 14:36 on 8 October 2019 to include comments from RTL