Just in time before the planned opening of insolvency proceedings, the largest restructuring package in the protective shield procedure was concluded at GALERIA Karstadt Kaufhof. Of the approximately 30,000 employees at GALERIA Karstadt Kaufhof group, a total of up to 8,000 will be made redundant, spread across around 70 locations in Germany. The working conditions for the employees who will continue to be employed at GALERIA Karstadt Kaufhof and the affiliated companies have been settled in social collective agreements with the trade unions ver.di and NGG.
In detail, the reconciliation of interests and social plan for the department store chain GALERIA Karstadt Kaufhof stipulates that up to 62 department stores, 2 bargain centres and 25 travel agencies could be closed. In addition, the staff at the headquarters in Essen and Cologne will be reduced by approximately 250 employees.
At Karstadt Sports, 20 of 30 sports stores will be closed. Furthermore, the Karstadt Sport headquarters in Essen will be closed. At Karstadt Feinkost, 24 of 50 stores will be closed. There will also be a reduction in personnel at the headquarters in Cologne. At GALERIA Logistik 2 logistics locations (Dietzenbach and Neuss-Norf) will be shut down.
In the gastronomy business of GALERIA Karstadt Kaufhof, the affiliated companies DINEA and Le Buffet are affected as follows: At DINEA, 22 of 57 restaurants and at Le Buffet, 29 of 68 restaurants will be closed.
Finally, up to 106 locations of ATRYS, the travel and tourism company most recently acquired from Thomas Cook, will be closed.
The reconciliation of interests and social plan negotiations as well as the collective bargaining social plan negotiations took place in consideration of the termination privileges under insolvency labour law. This means that the respective social plan volumes were limited to a maximum of 2.5 months’ salary of an employee to be made redundant and the notice periods were reduced to a maximum of 3 months. In order to mitigate social hardship as far as possible, the establishment of transfer companies was agreed. Due to the financial situation of the companies, the respective negotiations were conducted under the greatest time pressure and concluded within only several weeks.
In all areas of this major project, Seitz was responsible for conducting negotiations as well as for labour law and strategic project management. Seitz was flanked by the employment law experts of SGP Schneider Geiwitz. In total, Seitz has conducted the negotiations with more than 10 law firms on the trade union and works council side as well as the in-house lawyers of the unions ver.di and NGG.
Advisors to employers GALERIA Karstadt Kaufhof and all affiliated companies:
Seitz: Dr. Stefan Seitz, Dr. Marc Werner, Dr. Patrick Esser, Dr. Piero Sansone, Dr. Andreas von Medem, Sabine Schwarz-Holl, Thomas Dorando (all project management and negotiation leads), Dr. Ulf Goeke, Axel von Netzer (all partners), Heinke von Netzer, Dr. Johannes Traut (both Counsel), Annika Hausmann, Kathrin Jansen, Roua Schmitz, Gloria Dulich, Bianca Pawletta (all Associates)