HKScan Corporation - release 27 November 2017

HKScan applies uniform human resource policy in all its operating countries, in addition to the laws, regulations and cooperation procedures of each particular country. Moreover, the company invests resources in the wellbeing of employees, leadership development and open dialogue. HKScan also closely engages in fact-based dialogue with its personnel in every country it operates in.

HKScan is currently negotiating with the Estonian Rakvere unit employees in relation to the illegal work stoppage, which took place on 17–18 October. The negotiations concern the employee requests for changes in employment conditions. Of the 60 employees in the slaughterhouse, 25 were involved in the strike. The Rakvere unit employs a total of 750 people.

As part of the official reconciliation process in Estonia, HKScan has sent the facts of the employment conditions to the authority that is heading the negotiations. Work has continued at the unit normally, and the issue has not affected HKScan’s ability to serve its customers.

According to the information that HKScan has provided to the conciliation authority, the salaries of the personnel working on the slaughterhouse line at Rakvere have been increased annually by about six per cent between 2013 and 2016. The level of earnings of slaughterhouse workers is clearly above (19%) the general salary level in the industry. The salary development has been in line with the industry. The average length of employment at the slaughterhouse is about 14 years, which indicates commitment to the company.

The company annually reviews salaries in accordance with the normal process. HKScan monitors development in the industry relating to salaries and cost levels, and the company holds statistics of the long-term salary development of its employees. In Estonia, for example, employee salaries were most recently reviewed in September of this year. The Company’s compensation system is being further developed.
The labour markets in Estonia are currently undergoing transformation. HKScan respects the right of employees to unionise, and also respects negotiating practices. However, the ongoing reconciliation process has shown that general work-related negotiation practices are still only being created in Estonia. HKScan takes the Estonian reconciliation process seriously and wants to develop the Estonian labour market together with its personnel through a fact based dialogue.

An internal investigation carried out by HKScan in Estonia last year revealed violations of operating guidelines. The measures that the company took in response to these findings included personnel changes. During the spring of 2017, HKScan launched a number of measures to develop work and leadership related practices. One such measure was to establish co-operation practices between employer and employees. The company is working on an agreement on new communication practices with employees, and encourages its employees to participate in developing co-operation.

HKScan places a high value on continuing to be a responsible and competitive employer in Estonia. The company has made significant investments in Estonia, and since the late 1990s has been a key contributor in developing the Estonian food industry.

For call requests in relation to the matter, please call the HKScan media service number: +358 (0)10 570 5700.

HKScan is a leading Nordic food manufacturer. HKScan sells, markets and produces high-quality, responsibly produced pork, beef, poultry and lamb products, processed meats and convenience foods under strong brand names. Our customers are the retail, food service, industrial and export sectors, and our home markets comprise Finland, Sweden, Denmark and the Baltics. We export to close to 50 countries. In 2016, HKScan had net sales of almost EUR 1.9 billion, and had approximately 7,300 employees.