Eindhoven lighting company Signify is to reorganise itself.
Dozens of people will likely lose their positions at the High Tech Campus. That includes those in the research department. “COVID-19’s economic effects are much further-reaching than we’d expected,” says a company spokesperson.
“We expect it to take years for the market to recover. We must, therefore, take action now and reduce costs. This spokesperson says several departments will be affected. “We’ll start with the research branch, but we’re looking organisation-wide.
The decision doesn’t come out of the blue. Things haven’t been going well with the Philips spin-off for some time now. This year, the company recorded a 13% drop in turnover.
So, this move doesn’t surprise trade unions. “This is bad; it’s a major overhaul,” says Jorg Sauer of the VHP2 trade union. “We’ve been getting reports for some time now that the company isn’t doing well.
Suat Koetloe of the Union adds, “We already knew Signify was cutting costs and doing some reorganisation. We still have a lot of questions about the usefulness and necessity of this drastic cut’.
According to Koetloe, the research branch being scaled-down makes it even more painful. “As a technology company, you must continue to believe in the future. You have to continue to invest in innovation.” Sauer adds, “When that happens, things usually don’t end well.”
At the beginning of next year, Signify’s Board of Directors and the works council will discuss the reorganisation. The trade unions will also enter into talks with the company. An extensive plan has been drawn up to help employees find alternative employment.
According to Signify, it will become clear in the course of next year exactly how many people, and in which departments, will be laid off.
Translator: Melinda Walraven