Last remaining supplier of Volvo Car Gent loses contract
Ties are being cut between Volvo Gent and its suppliers by the parent company in Sweden, which is looking to save money by working with overseas suppliers
Unions consider actions
Unions fear the loss of nearly 900 jobs, 220 of them at Benteler alone. Volvo has said it will not take in any of the employees of suppliers. “This is terrible news because we have no alternatives,” said Marc Staelens of the socialist union ABVV.
Staelens accused the company of a lack of respect. “When you see what investments have been made by the suppliers – that’s only because they believed in their client.”
Co-operation with the suppliers will be built down between 2017 and 2019, with some supplies thereafter being sourced overseas. Volvo Cars Gent declined to comment, pointing out that the talks with suppliers are being carried out by the parent company in Sweden.
Two companies, Benteler and Tower Automotive, will be looking for new customers. “They seem to be seriously looking for alternatives,” said Danny Clevers of the ACV-CSC Metea union. “We think that only those two have any hope of finding alternatives. For the others, the end will probably come in 2019.”
The unions are considering actions. “There’s no telling what the workers might do,” Clevers told VRT. “There’s a feeling of anger, but also frustration and resignation after months of uncertainty.”
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