Most NedCar workers join strike

21st April 2006, Comments 0 comments

21 April 2006, AMSTERDAM — Only 370 of the 1,000 people scheduled to work turned up for their shift at the only major car assembly plant in the Netherlands on Friday morning.

21 April 2006

AMSTERDAM — Only 370 of the 1,000 people scheduled to work turned up for their shift at the only major car assembly plant in the Netherlands on Friday morning.

There was some jeering but no physical confrontations as the minority crossed the picket line at the NedCar factory in Born. The assembly lines were kept running but production levels were far lower than normal.

Employees wishing to strike had until 4pm to register at café 'D'n Aezel' in Holtum. About 400 people had done so by 10am, according to estimates by the FNV and CNV unions. Production has largely come to a halt and most people have answered our call [to strike]. We are pleased," said official Arthur Bot of CNV Bedrijvenbond.

Buses that normally transport large number of workers to the morning shift were largely empty on arrival at the NedCar car park on Friday. The company had offered to let personnel take a leave day but it is unclear how many availed of this.

All eyes were on the company's office as the majority of the clerical team are members of the trade union 'De Unie' which opposes the strike. Officials of that union are worried the firm's owner, Japanese car-maker Mitsubishi, will lose all faith in NedCar as a result of the industrial action.  Many De Unie workers came to work as normal.

NedCar, the only large-scale automobile producer in the Netherlands, started in August 1991 as a joint venture between Mitsubishi, Volvo and the Dutch State. It is currently 100 percent owned by Mitsubishi.

The assembly plant's future has been called into question by DaimlerChrysler's decision to halt production of the Smart ForFour there. This leaves NedCar with production of Mitsubishi's Colt, but there are no guarantees it will get the order to build the Colt's successor.

Talks between Mitsubishi and NedCar's management have failed to generate commitments about the future, though the Japanese firm said it would allow NedCar to seek a replacement for the ForFour.

The strike is intended to pressure Mitsubishi into guaranteeing the plant's future and to backtrack on its decision to cut one shift of 1,000 people due to the cancellation of the ForFour order.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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