RANDERS, Denmark – Union representatives at Danish Crown presented a proposal to invest up to DKK600 million ($105.9 million) of slaughterhouse workers' pay in pig production over the next four years.

The investment is subject to the condition that individual farmers actually increase their production, according to Danish Crown. Factory managers and top management at DC Pork also have committed making a contribution. Union representatives negotiated the deal with management of DC Pork, Danish Crown's pork division. The union's goal is two-fold — increase production of slaughter-ready pigs to at least three million animals over the next four years and save jobs.

"It is a ground-breaking proposal which must, of course, be submitted to all our colleagues for a vote,” said Lars Mose, chairman of the committee of union representatives in Danish Crown. “However, the trend which we have now been witnessing for several years has also been quite drastic in terms of the number of colleagues we have at the pig slaughterhouses in Denmark. We want to reverse this trend. This is all about our jobs.”

Employees will have time to study the proposal in detail. A vote is expected by the end of September.

“This is an admirable and very responsible step by the committee of union representatives,” said Jesper Friis, CEO of DC Pork. “It also means that, for the first time in many years, we are looking towards a four-year period during which we will not be closing down pig slaughterhouses, and this is very positive.

“For this to happen, the proposal must, of course, generate the intended results, and secure a sufficient number of pigs for slaughter for us to utilize our capacity,” he added.