The amount is colossal: for last year, 43 billion dollars, Chemchina took over the Swiss agrochemistry group Syngenta. So far, the largest acquisition abroad by a Chinese company. At the end of the transaction noble intentions were announced: Syngenta's headquarters remain in Basel and research will not be restricted. "Syngenta remains Syngenta," promised the new chairman of the board, Ren Jianxin.
But Ren is now history, replaced by President Sinochem, Ning Gaoning. Despite all the previous denials swallowed in the summer, the state conglomerate Sinochem Chemchina, it was hard for the business to be in dry towels in Switzerland. And the promise "Syngenta remains Syngenta" is increasingly mocking the ears of about 28,000 Syngenta employees.
Now is Seco's turn
Because the new owner in the Far East is knausrig. Thus, the group refuses to pay today, promised in 2017 a profit sharing totaling $ 15 million. The Swiss labor force is worth $ 2.5 million. The case calls on the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco). Because Unia called the Federal Appointment Office. "Payment was promised, we can send a mail," says Blaise Carron, responsible for Syngenta at Unia.
There is still trust: Ren Jianxin (left) and Michel Demare after Chemgina acquired Syngenta in June 2017. (Photo: Keystone)
When Syngenta was still an independent corporation, there was a generous employee share options: each employee could buy Syngenta for 5,000 francs and the group took half of that or 2,500 francs.
$ 1200 per employee
At the end of 2016, when Chemchina's acquisition was already at the end of the year, Syngenta's leadership wanted to rebuild the investment model: Employees should receive 2% of annual profit instead of shares each year. That made sense because Syngenta was removed from the scholarship. For the transition year 2017, the Group has committed to pay employees at least $ 15 million. In Switzerland, each employee should receive 1,200 dollars.
"Money should be paid regardless of whether Syngenta makes a profit or not," says Unia Carron. In two emails at the end of 2016, the management confirmed the payment. However, Unia does not want to publish the e-mail traffic so as not to put all cards on the table in advance in the future dispute settlement procedure at the Federal Arbitration Office.
Mega pickup did not originally develop for Chemchina as it was said. In 2017, Syngenta reported a loss of nearly $ 100 million. This is due to the $ 1.6 billion provision for a costly US deal for the sale of genetically modified maize to US farmers. There was no import authorization for this corn on the major Chinese market.
Employees continue to wait for the money
In any case, Chinese owners of Syngenta no longer want to recall their old promises to employees. No profit, no money, that's the motto. Thus, Syngenta employees in Switzerland are still waiting for $ 1,200 for 2017.
"We will not comment on the internal and confidential talks on our employees' salaries," a Syngenta spokesman said on demand. "These discussions have been and will always be one thing: private."
Skepticism is growing
According to Seco, there is no time when the settlement will address the Syngenta millionaire's dispute. Seco is currently examining whether the conditions for a state-friendly conciliation procedure are met, the office said.
For the Union, the dispute over special distribution for employees casts a bad light on how the new Far East owners are facing labor. "If they will not even respect this promise, what are the other values?" He asks not only Blaise Carron's representative.
Created: 27.11.2018, 16:05 watch