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The Irish Times reports that 24-store Superquinn there has reached a deal with three labor unions that will allow the company to lay off 394 employees, but will give the workers who remain a 1.5 percent stake in the business through a formal profit sharing program.

The deal was voted on by membership in the three unions and approved by a “significant majority.”

In a prepared statement, the unions said that the deal could be “a blueprint for how partnership should work in difficult times … While it sees workers take some pain in the short term, they will experience benefits when the company returns to profitability.”

Like many companies in recession-afflicted Ireland, Superquinn – which was acquired by the Select Retail Holdings consortium in 2005 from its founder, Senator Feargal Quinn – has been suffering from declining sales and profits. There have been a number of rumors – denied by management – that the chain has been for sale, but that the company has been unable to find a buyer wiling to pay an acceptable price.

KC's View:
I hope it is enough. Kudos to the unions for being willing to cut a deal, but it may not be sufficient to address the severe competitive problems that Superquinn seems to be encountering right now.

(I wonder if the UFCW and a US supermarket chain would make the same deal?)