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    20.12.2018 - Bremen. EUROGATE and ver.di adopt Future collective agreement.

    EUROGATE and ver.di adopt Future collective agreement


    Yesterday (19 December 2018), container terminal operator group EUROGATE and the united services union Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (ver.di) adopted the so-called Future collective agreement in Bremen. With the signing of the agreement, the parties have successfully concluded a negotiating phase lasting more than one-and-a-half years.


    The agreement covers the potential impacts of automation and digitalisation processes in the ports. In order to remain competitive going forward, EUROGATE, like many of its competitors, is planning to develop its operative business by successively stepping up the level of automation. The adopted Future collective agreement governs management of employment–related changes brought about by implemented automation and digitalisation measures, and provides a binding framework for both sides for the initial and future stages in this important transformation process.


    On the occasion of the signing, Ulrike Riedel, member of the EUROGATE Group Management Board and HR Director said: “The new Future collective agreement is the result of an intensive negotiation process. Automation will bring about fundamental changes that we cannot yet fully foresee, and which obviously cause a lot of uncertainty. The Future collective agreement provides the necessary orientation and brings certainty for the company and our employees on our way through this transformation.”


    Christine Behle, of ver.di’s federal executive, points out: “This collective agreement covers the future of port activities and has an additional knock-on effect for the entire working environment. The change processes driven by automation and digitalisation call for employee participation on an equal footing. Therefore strengthening codetermination, targeted qualification and a further reduction in working hours are the way to go.”


    The collective agreement is intended to manage the consequences of automation measures for the employees in a socially acceptable and codetermined manner. For example, it provides for the establishment of an Automation Committee that will be responsible for managing employment issues on a group-wide basis and involve employee representatives and the union in the change process. It also incorporates regulations concerning qualification and working hours models, including possible working time reductions. A temporary ban on dismissals for operational reasons, together with key points of a collectively agreed social compensation plan, have also been negotiated.


    The Future collective agreement comes into force with immediate effect for a period of ten years.