The National Labour Office, ONEM, has decided to grant temporary unemployment benefits for economic reasons to staff at the Lanciers de Rochefort abattoir, Lanciers spokesman Pascal François announced on Wednesday evening. The abattoir is part of the Verbist group that also owns the Veviba abattoir in Bastogne. It has suffered economically since 8 March, when the Veviba health scandal broke. The scandal is linked to the discovery of falsely labelled and non-compliant products at Veviba.
“ONEM is granting temporary unemployment for economic reasons to staff at Lanciers from Thursday 15 March,” spokesman François said. “The information was confirmed to me by the federal ministry and mayor François Bellot. The notification has not yet reached the company, but we suppose it’s for a three-month period.”
Since the scandal, the Lanciers abattoir has lost 90% of its clients, mainly department stores. The company, which has 70 employees, was forced to apply to ONEM for three months temporary unemployment for its workers.
There is still activity on the site, but it is minimal. “On Wednesday, 70 animals were scheduled to be slaughtered, which is nothing compared to the usual numbers, but it nevertheless allows us to maintain some activity on the site”, François said.
The abattoir’s management is currently in negotiation with the Verbist group to leave it completely. “Negotiations are under way and that could take a bit of time”, the Lanciers spokesman said.
The Brussels Times