Netherlands

Fokker employees not happy with the closure of factories: ‘It’s a drama’

Trade unions FNV and CNV are protesting today at the gates of the Fokker factories in Helmond and Hoogerheide. Those factories are closing because parent company GKN Aerospace wants to transfer its activities to Papendrecht.

In Hoogerheide, electrical cables are made for aircraft. About 850 people work there, of whom about 300 temporary workers. “Unbelievable, after all these years, also for employment in the area,” says an employee in the NOS Radio 1 News

The employee also points to the earlier closure of the Philip Morris factory in nearby Bergen op Zoom a few years ago. “And now Fokker too, it’s a concept here. Most of the people who work here have children. If you then have to go to Papendrecht, that’s impossible.”

Impact is big

Fokker, owned by the British GKN, wants to that the personnel in Helmond and Hoogerheide will accompany them to the factory in Papendrecht, near Rotterdam. This factory will be expanded to accommodate 1800 people. Papendrecht is 60 kilometers to the north of Hoogerheide. Helmond is 100 kilometers further.

Jan Meeder, director of FNV Metaal, is handing out flyers today at the gates of the factory in Hoogerheide. “I ask people how they feel about having to work in Papendrecht in the future. People are not happy with it and that is an understatement. They are angry that this is going to happen. If you are used to coming by bicycle or a short car ride and that will change, then that is not pleasant.”

“It’s just a drama,” says one employee. “We only heard about it on Friday and the impact is of course very large. So that has to be processed first.” A third employee from Hoogerheide can understand the closure of the factory. “But when I look at employment, I don’t understand.”

More actions possible

The employee says he has been aware of the plans for the closure for some time. “My network is big enough and I know how the hares run.” He himself will not leave for Papendrecht. “I have to come from Goes and have decided not to come. An hour and a quarter drive is not in my dictionary, let me put it this way.”

Good arrangements must be made for employees from Hoogerheide and Helmond who do not want to go to Papendrecht, says Meeder. “For people who find it too far, the current social plan should apply, that there will be a severance payment for them.”

The employees who can go along should receive compensation for the travel costs and travel time, says Meeder. A meeting is planned for the employees on Wednesday where a good arrangement will be discussed further. “After that we negotiate with this management. If that ends in a fiasco, then you can expect further action.”

Fokker employees not happy with the closure of factories: ‘It’s a drama’
Source link Fokker employees not happy with the closure of factories: ‘It’s a drama’

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