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DSM invests in Dutch jobs initiative

Published on 22/04/2004

22 April 2004

AMSTERDAM — Chemical giant DSM signed a unique covenant Thursday with the local authorities in its Dutch heartland in Limburg to help create 250 new jobs. In addition, DSM has decided to reduce the 500 compulsory redundancies announced in March to 300.

The company, which evolved from the now defunct coalmining industry in the province, has agreed to invest EUR 40 million in 15 new companies to be established in the Chemelot business park.

The deal was signed with the provincial government and the Sittard-Geleen municipality, who are providing EUR 18 million and EUR 2 million respectively.

The provincial authority is to vote on the plan before the end of the week.

DSM will not own any shares in the new businesses, but will have the final say about what companies can be located in the business park. The plan envisages five new chemical companies and 10 firms dealing with “innovative technologies”.

“The companies will be allowed to use the facilities in the business park, including the DSM research centre,” provincial government spokesperson Ellen Jaspers said.

Some 2,000 DSM staff members protested on 12 March against the company’s redundancy plans. Under the new agreement, DSM agreed to cut the redundancies from 500 to 300 and provide funds for the start-up companies.

“We have not had such a big demonstration since the mine closures in the 1960s. DSM is the motor in Limburg and plays a major role in employment in the area,” FNV union spokesman Henk van Rees said.

He described the covenant as unique, given that DSM will not have any ownership interest in the new companies.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news