Amsterdam Primark employees protest potential layoffs
About 20 Primark employees in the center of Amsterdam demonstrated in front of the store on Saturday afternoon due to unrest about announced layoffs. Primark has announced it will lay off about 250 people across the country, only to rehire many former staff amid worse working conditions, such as lower wages, according to the FNV trade union.
The demonstrators on Damrak had signs with texts such as "primarkfamily," "more respect for employees = shorter lines" and "power to the Primark workers." Behind the windows of the store, other employees watched the demonstration, according to union director Linda Vermeulen.
With the demonstration, the union hopes to enforce a higher severance payment for the employees, if they are fired. For the people who stay, the union wants "workable schedules and wages that will increase in the future," according to FNV. "More Primark employees want to speak out about this. We hope that the management sees this too and will listen to us," Vermeulen said.
Primark has not yet responded to the demonstration. David Swann Lassche, leader of the Dutch branch of Primark, previously said he understands that this is a difficult time for colleagues who may be affected by the layoff. According to him, a social plan can be voted on through the trade unions. Primark "adjusted that many times during the negotiation process," Lassche said.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times