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$ 1 200 promised – but not paid – economy



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The sum is huge: For proud 43 billion dollars last year, Chemchina took the Swiss agrochemical group Syngenta, So far, it is the largest purchase abroad by a Chinese company. At the end of the agreement, nobody's intentions were announced: The Syngenta headquarters remains in Basel, and research should not be hindered. "Syngenta remains Syngenta," promised new chairman Ren Jianxin.

But Pure is now history, replaced by Sinochem's President Ning Gaoning. Although all previous denials struck in the summer, the state-owned conglomerate, Sinochem Chemchina, was barely in store in Switzerland in dry towels. And the promise "Syngenta stays Syngenta" is increasingly mocking the ears of approximately 28,000 Syngenta employees.

Now it's Seco's trip

Because the new owner from the Far East is scary. Thus, the group refuses to pay today, a promised profit sharing in 2017 totaling $ 15 million. The Swiss labor force is worth $ 2.5 million. The case now uses the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco). Because Unia has called the Federal Department. "The payment was promised, we can email," said Blaise Carron, who is responsible for Syngenta at Unia.

There was still great confidence: Ren Jianxin (left) and Michel Demare after Chemgina's acquisition of Syngenta in June 2017. (Photo: Keystone)

When Syngenta was still an independent listed company, there was a generous employee stock option plan: each employee could purchase Syngenta shares at $ 5,000 and the group took over half of that amount or £ 2,500.

$ 1200 per employee

By the end of 2016, when the acquisition of Chemchina was already on the finishing range, Syngenta's management wanted to rebuild the investment model: Employees should receive 2 percent of the year's earnings instead of shares each year. It was sensible because Syngenta was taken off the stock exchange. For the transition year 2017, the Group undertakes to pay employees at least $ 15 million. In Switzerland, each employee should receive 1 200 USD.

"The money is to be paid, whether or not Syngenta earns," reports Unia representative Carron. In two e-mail messages from the end of 2016, the management has confirmed the payment. Unia, however, does not want to disclose email traffic in order not to put all cards on the table in advance in the forthcoming dispute settlement procedure at the Federal Arbitration Office.

The mega acquisition was not initially developed for Chemchina as hoped. In 2017, Syngenta reported a loss of almost $ 100 million. This is due to provisions of $ 1.6 billion to resolve an expensive trial in the United States to sell GM corn to US farmers. There was no import permit for this corn on the big Chinese market.

Employees continue to wait for their money

In any case, the Chinese owners of Syngenta no longer want to remember the old promises to employees. No profit, no money, that's the motto. And so, the Swiss Syngenta employees are still waiting for 1200 kronor for 2017.

"We will not comment on the internal and confidential discussions about the wages of our employees," said a Syngenta spokesman on request. "Such discussions are and will always be one thing: private."

Skepticism is rising

According to Seco, there is no date yet when the winding up will handle the Syngenta millionaire disputes. Seco is currently investigating whether the conditions for a state-facilitated settlement process are met, the office said.

For Unia, the dispute over the special distribution forces employees to have a bad light on how the new owners from the Far East handle the workforce. "If they do not even keep this promise, what are the other values?" Do not just ask Unia representative Blaise Carron.

(Tagesanzeiger.ch/Newsnet)

Created: 27.11.2018, 16:05 clock

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