Switzerland-based Cham Paper cuts about 200 jobs due to restructuring, to implement social plan to benefit affected workers, including new company job center, cash benefits, job training, option of early retirement

CHAM. Switzerland , February 16, 2012 (press release) – The employees at the Cham Paper Group affected by the loss of their jobs, approximately 200 in number, will now benefit from a social plan. The negotiation partners approved and signed the social plan on 14th February 2012. This will be valid with retrospective effect as from 1st January 2012 and will benefit all employees who are given notice up to the end of 2013 due to the planned restructuring.

In five rounds of negotiations, representatives of the company on the one side and representatives of the employees on the other discussed the provisions of the social plan. The company employees' representatives and representatives of the Trade Unions SPV Schweizerischer Papier- und Kartonarbeitnehmerverband [Swiss Paper and Card Employees' Association], Syna and Unia, negotiated for the workforce. The content of the plan was the subject of hard negotiations, but the talks were always conducted objectively and the specified dates were always adhered to. Finally, all negotiation partners were prepared to put their own interests in second place behind those of the dismissed employees, and to work out a meaningful social plan for them.

Own job centre in the company

The job centre set up in the company, which prepares and supports those affected by dismissal in the future search for jobs whilst they are still in employment, represents the core element of company support. All employees can use this service - without a time limit. The company's own job centre will be managed by a neutral person and will work closely with the public bodies. Employees will be actively supported right from the date they are given notice, by internal company position fixing courses and with practical support in the process of applying for jobs. The support services will be adjusted to individual needs and aim to assist every employee affected to achieve a seamless follow-on employment solution. This is one thing the social partners agree on: the best support is a new job.

Cash benefits as well

As well as actual support in looking for jobs, the social plan also provides for various financial benefits, such as payment of removal costs, financing of further training, balancing out wage differentials and severance payments on a scale according to the number of years' service. Older employees will receive additional benefits. From the age of 50 their period of notice will be extended by a further month. Employees over the age of 55 will also have the opportunity to extend their contract of employment by another three months if they have not yet found a new job after the end of their extended period of notice. This means that older employees will have an additional period of time, with pay, to devote to finding a new direction in their working life. Finally, the social plan provides for the option of early retirement from the age of 60. The generous financial benefits provided by the employer in the event of early retirement offer employees of 60 and over a genuine alternative.

End of negotiations and start of support

Management at the Cham Paper Group is aware that the real work only begins after the end of the social plan negotiations. Together with the job centre operators, the company undertakes actively to support those affected by the loss of their employment, so that they find a new job if at all possible during their period of notice. CPG Schweiz AG highly values the fact that both the employees' representatives as well as the Trade Unions are assisting with supporting employees, so that those affected by the job reductions are able to remain seamlessly in work.

Cham Paper Group

The Cham Paper Group is a leading manufacturer of coated special papers. It supplies added value to its customers by functionalities that are based on surface finishes. The company, founded in 1657, develops and produces special papers in its three locations in Switzerland and in Italy, which have applications in the areas of consumer goods, industrial release and digital imaging. The area of consumer goods includes papers for flexible packaging and basic papers for label printing, which are used in the food, non-food, cigarettes, drinks and the pharmaceutical industries. The Cham Paper Group serves the area of industrial release with silicone based papers for release liners in graphic applications, for adhesive tapes and labels. For applications in industrial casting and lamination processes, it offers basic papers for process liners. The range is completed by facestock papers for the self-adhesive industry. The area of digital imaging, alongside large format inkjet papers for internal and external applications, also includes sublimation papers for digital textile printing. The Cham Paper Group benefits from the trend towards sustainable products and is well established on the market thanks to its strength in technological innovation. It is listed as an independent company on the Swiss Stock Exchange SIX Swiss Exchange (stock exchange symbol: CPGN).

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