Published: 19/02/2013

Arla is gathering the production of yellow cheese in Taulov, Denmark, and invest half a billion DKK

The dairy giant Arla has started a project at Taulov Dairy, Denmark, investing more than half a billion DKK over the next few years. For the moment they are building new facilities, just as production is being modernized and by that made more efficient.

Shop Steward Kurt Allan Olesen says that this means both firing and new hiring. Since November 2012, ten employees have been fired in packaging, while it became possible to move 7-8 employees from Taulov’s packaging to Korsvejen’s Dairy just before Christmas where they needed temporaries due to an increased workload.

– In that way these colleagues avoided firing, and they still work at Korsvejen’s Dairy now 12 weeks later. That makes a shop steward happy, says Kurt Allan Olesen.

Need for Skilled Workers

The reason for modernizing Taulov Dairy is Arla’s decision to close the dairies in Klovborg, Denmark, and Falkenberg, Sweden, and move the production of yellow cheese to Taulov.

– When the new dairy is ready, and production lines work, a maximum of 25 new employees should be hired in production. But the kind of work means that they have to be skilled dairymen and dairy technicians, and there are not that many available with these educations.

The introduction of high technology and robots means that the employees have to be specialists. At the dairy there will also be AGV-trucks, so-called driverless trucks, steered by a computer.

– This should appeal to everybody to upgrade their skills. The future in Danish dairies will be based on skilled workers.

Layoffs Ahead

Kurt Allan Olesen is a bit fearful of this summer when the new dairy would be working optimally.

– I am afraid that that would again mean layoffs in packaging, he says.

The half a billion DKK come from a pool of money, spent at the moment. Among other things, 14 million DKK have been invested in a new canteen for the employees.

By Claus Gjedsig. Translation Inger Sch. Olesen, Food Workers’ Union NNF, Denmark