VDL threatens to withdraw bonus if Nedcar workers continue to strike
VDL threatens to withdraw a bonus of 7,500 euros if Nedcar workers continue to strike, according to an internal communication from Nedcar director John van Soerland to the employees of the car factory in Born.
According to Van Soerland, the bonus of 7,500 euros will only be paid if all agreements with BMW are respected. "Work interruptions mean that we cannot keep our agreements, so the personal bonus will not be paid," Van Soerland told the workers.
VDL's warning is part of an internal communication about its own negotiation proposal for a new social plan. The announcement was circulated in response to the unions' general meeting, where workers unanimously decided to go on strike on Tuesday out of dissatisfaction with the outcome of negotiations.
The future of the car factory is uncertain. The contract VDL Nedcar has with BMW to build Minis expires in March 2024. However, new customers remain absent, as online news platform 1Limburg reported. Therefore, the Nedcar employees demand an improvement of the social plan.
FNV director Peter Reniers said in response on Saturday that VDL hopes to break the strike in this way. "VDL is trying to sow discord with this announcement," he explained. "People are very angry, they read above all that the 7,500 euros bonus will not come. That adds fuel to the fire and this letter is counterproductive."
However, a VDL spokesman denied that there has been any threat. On the contrary, he said, the bonus was part of the latest VDL proposal which is now on the table. According to the spokesperson, the issue is that VDL's improved proposal is 28 percent higher than the current social plan. The transition payment is more than twice what has been agreed by law, Van Soerland claimed.
"In the past period, we have always emphasized that the future of VDL Nedcar is not in question. We are convinced that the developments we are working hard on are the right ones and that they will allow us to preserve as many jobs as possible," Van Soerland said. But today's circumstances "unfortunately mean that we are on the eve of cutting a group of employees." VDL offers them a good safety net, Van Soerland said, a social plan with good severance packages and voluntary job-to-job counseling.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times