In 2019, Vion employed 12,455 people, including 7,901 "flex workers". At the slaughterhouse in Boxtel the percentage flex workers is 70%. These flex workers are the ones who do the heavy, dirty and dangerous work. They receive a minimum wage, from which accommodation costs are deducted. These are mostly people from Eastern Europe, especially Poland, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria. They are recruited by employment agencies.
According to Vion, the high proportion of flex workers is due to the need for flexible labor. This is nonsense, of course, because the pig slaughterhouse does not work in seasonal periods, as is the case with horticulture. “Flexible” for Vion seems to mean that workers can easily be moved and replaced.
Click here to watch the promotional video with which Vion recruits migrant workers...
Wrongful dismissal of Alex
These interviews with Alex reveal the true story of what goes on in this slaughterhouse. Alex is Romanian who worked for a short time at Vion. He was unlawfully fired after getting injured at work. Shut Down VION! demanded compensation, but Vion rejected our claim. According to the company, Alex was never dismissed.
Only after Shut Down VION! intervened, Alex finally got paid for the one and a half day he worked (a net amount of 58 euros).
Absurd wage gap
Vion's CEO, Ronald Lotgerink, received 1.3 million in 2019. This is 65 times the wage of an average migrant worker at the slaugtherhouse, (20.160 euros per year, of which at least 3,900 euros is deducted for accomodation).
COVID-19 among slaughterhouse workers
Despite a high number of infections in the slaughterhouse, and protests from concerned local residents and civil society organizations, Boxtel remained open. We wrote a blog about the pandemic and Vion's slaughterhouses.