V&D crisis talks continue

V&D, Hoorn
V&D store location in Hoorn (Photo: Dqfn13/Wikimedia Commons)V&D store location in Hoorn (Photo: Dqfn13/Wikimedia Commons)

Employee unions are rejoining discussions with management at Dutch retailer V&D. The department store is under significant financial pressure, and is trying to force employees to take a wage cut of six percent.

Labour union FNV cried foul of the move, and is taking the shop to court over the issue. They say some employees are being asked to sacrifice up to ten percent of their salaries. The next court hearing is scheduled for February 16.

The union had been shut out of talks at V&D since Thursday. It’s a positive sign that unions are invited back to the table, FNV representative Niels Suijker told NOS.

In addition to the wage cut, V&D is also asking landlords to temporarily freeze rent collection, and trying to get banks to keep the firm’s credit line open. A tentative agreement was reached, according to Nu.nl.

Meanwhile, the country’s largest book distributor has stopped all orders set for delivery at V&D.

Florida-based private equity firm Sun Capital bought the Dutch retailer in 2010. The firm typically pays cash up front for the businesses it buys, then leverages debt to finance operations over the long-term, according to the company’s website.