With the support of Seitz, the merged department store companies Karstadt and Kaufhof concluded an integration and transition collective agreement with ver.di at the end of December 2019. At the same time, cornerstone papers for subsequent collective bargaining solutions for the companies Karstadt Sports and Karstadt Feinkost were signed.
The now concluded collective agreement is a milestone in this largest integration project in the history of the German retail industry.
With a term until the end of 2024, the collective agreement offers five years of planning security for the company and the employees and establishes the conditions for the further successful restructuring of the department store group. Part of the collective bargaining agreement is a temporary waiver of holiday and Christmas bonuses for all employees. The employees are thus making a significant contribution to the restructuring of Germany's most important department store company.
The collective bargaining agreement also contains provisions on job security and on the participation of employees in the concept for the future of the department stores. The collective bargaining solution offers employees a clear perspective by fixing a pay development with fixed minimum monthly pay increases from 2021 onwards above the collective bargaining agreements for the retail trade. CEO Dr. Stephan Fanderl explained: "We are pleased to be able to pass on the results of this hard work to the employees so early in the phase of convergence. It was particularly important to us that the agreement offers scope for performance-related remuneration components, as we have successfully introduced them at Karstadt, also for Kaufhof employees".
At the end of 2018, the two largest German department store chains merged. Since October 2019, both companies were fully owned by the Signa Group of Austrian investor René Benko. At the beginning of this year the legal integration was completed by merging the two companies.
Seitz had already advised Karstadt on the conclusion of a future collective agreement and a comprehensive restructuring programme in 2015 and Seitz was also instructed on the Kaufhof restructuring in 2019.
Advisors Karstadt/Kaufhof: Seitz - Dr. Stefan Seitz (Partner Labor Law, leading),
Heinke von Netzer, Dr. Andreas von Medem (both Counsel), Thomas Dorando (Associate)
Inhouse: Eric Günzel (Labor law Karstadt), Ayfer Aslan-Blomenkämper (Labor law Kaufhof)
Advisors ver.di: Huber Mücke Helm - Michael Huber (Partner, leading),
Dr. Rüdiger Helm (Partner)
ver.di Inhouse: Prof. Dr. Jens Schubert