The Uzwil-based Bühler Technology Group is launching a comprehensive package of immediate measures to counteract the appreciation of the Swiss franc aimed at safeguarding its competitiveness, under drastically worsened circumstances.
Bühler is taping into the possibilities provided by the collective labour agreement and has agreed with its employees to take the following measures: From 16 February 2015, the working week for the entire Swiss workforce will be increased to 45 hours for the next seven months. Recruitment during this period will be stopped and no wage negotiations will be held this year. In return, in Switzerland, the company will refrain from redundancies for economic reasons for the period of seven months. "I am proud of our employees and that we were able to quickly agree on this contribution to safeguard our competitiveness," says Bühler CEO Calvin Grieder.
The Bühler Group, which is now active worldwide at around 140 sites and generates 98% of its sales abroad, had to suffer a short-term increase of its cost between CHF 80 million to 90 million, due to the change in the exchange rate. "A large part of our added value is now generated directly in our foreign markets. However, we are now forced to take immediate action to safeguard our competitiveness," says CEO Grieder.
The package of measures agreed with the staff is embedded in a broad-based procedure of the Group which has the goal of securing existing contracts and projects as well as maintaining market share and profitability. Boosting productivity by measures such as the increase in working hours plays a decisive role. "We are aware that the commonly agreed package of measures requires extraordinary commitment from all employees at all levels. We are responding to this challenge with determination and in a spirit of mutual trust to safeguard our competitiveness," says personnel manager Christof Oswald.
Burkhard Böndel, Head of Corporate Communications, Bühler AG, 9240 Uzwil, Switzerland
Phone: +41 71 955 33 99
Mobile: +41 79 515 91 57
The annual press conference will be held on Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 from 11 to 12.30 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Zurich Airport.
Every day, billions of people use Bühler technologies to satisfy their basic needs for food, mobility, or communications. With our industrial process technologies and solutions, we make a significant contribution to feeding the world’s population while focusing on food safety and security. Around 65% of the wheat harvested worldwide is processed into flour on Bühler mills. The company’s contribution to the global production and processing of rice, pasta, chocolate, and breakfast cereals is equally substantial. Furthermore, Bühler is a leading solution provider of die casting, wet grinding, and surface coating technologies, with a focus on applications in the automotive, optics, electronics, printing, packaging, and glass technologies. The solutions provided to these industries are characterized by high energy efficiency and sustainable mobility. As a leading technology group, Bühler invests up to 5% of its turnover in research and development every year. Bühler is proud of its Swiss roots, with over 10,000 employees at some 140 sites generating 2013 sales of CHF 2.3 billion. As a family-owned company, Bühler feels particularly committed to sustainability.