Belgian Ford workers agree to earn less
White collar workers at the Ford plant in Genk in Limburg have agreed to accept a scheme that means they will work fewer hours, but also earn less.
At the moment white collar workers cannot sign on temporarily when their company cannot offer them work.
This is possible for blue collar workers and in recent weeks representatives from both sides of industry have been trying to come up with a deal to make this possible for white collars workers too.
As long as this is not possible companies are left to their own devices.
Ford has less work for its workers as a result of the global economic crisis and the down turn in the automobile market and needs to cut costs as a result.
White collar workers were given a say on a scheme which involves working less, but also earning less. Eighty-eight percent of those who took part in the referendum backed the proposal.
Blue collar workers are already on short-time working. Car production at Ford has now fallen to barely 800 vehicles a day.
White collar workers start to work short-time on 14 April. They will stay at home for two or four days a month.
The agreement is valid for three months and may be extended.