Frosty relationship between ASML and trade unions

FNV Donderdag 21 april organiseerde de FNV een 'walk-out', voor ASML-personeel, om de onvrede over de nieuwe bonusregeling te ventileren.

ASML has been in discussions with the unions for over a year about expanding the work schedule so that night shifts can be worked more often. The talks are certainly not going well, the unions complain about the company’s attitude, while the Veldhoven chip machine manufacturer is not aware of any harm.

ASML wants to improve the production process. The flagship of the Brainport region has a huge order portfolio and wants to accelerate the production process of the chip machines by working more in shifts.

Discussions have been going on about this for some time with the trade unions FNV, CNV, De Unie and VHP2. The focus is on compensation for irregular working hours and night work, but also on the trade union facilities that ASML offers. The largest trade union within the company, the FNV, and the CNV want to have more room to do trade union work within the company.

Consultation climate
However, the talks did not go smoothly at all, and the atmosphere at the negotiating table fell below freezing, causing the unions to propose appointing a discussion leader. This is to ensure that negotiations take place ‘in a normal consultation climate’.

“We have been talking to each other for years, but we never get an idea of ​​what ASML wants”

Arjan Huizinga, trade union leader CNV

Little understanding

There is little understanding among the unions about how ASML enters into consultations, says Arjan Huizinga of CNV. “The core of the problem is how ASML positions itself in negotiations. If you talk about a subject and you get an idea of ​​what the other party wants, then we as an association can take a position on that. This way, you can get closer to each other. But even though we talk to each other for years, we never get an idea of ​​what ASML wants.”

“Appointing a discussion leader if negotiations are not going well is only a good thing”


ASML does not see a problem with a discussion leader. According to the company, it often occurs in negotiations between unions and companies. “We know from many companies that this is a normal course of events that often yields a lot. Ultimately, you want to find a solution together. If an external expert can help, that is only a good thing.”

However, this image is disputed by the trade unions. “I have only experienced one occasion where a discussion leader was needed, and that was during collective labour agreement negotiations with NXP,” says Huizinga. “CBA negotiations can be tough, but I certainly wouldn’t say that a discussion counsellor is a common occurrence.”

A special collective labour agreement

Huizinga gives another example of ASML’s – in his view – frustrating attitude at the negotiating table: the negotiations about a collective labor agreement – the Veldhoven tech giant wanted a special collective labor agreement for the company. “We discussed this for a long time, but it was never clear to us why ASML wanted its collective labor agreement. ASML never came up with a draft collective labor agreement in which this was made clear,” says Huizinga.

“It is always a surprise what position ASML takes at the negotiating table”

Arjan Huizinga, CNV

“Look, we can also have very tough negotiations with Philips,” says Huizinga. “But Philips does let us know what it ultimately wants to achieve with a negotiation. With ASML, that is always a surprise, and it makes it very difficult to make progress in negotiations.”


ASML states that a draft collective labor agreement is only written after a negotiation agreement and that writing a draft was therefore not possible. “After exchanging and explaining proposals from both sides, the negotiation phase follows. Only after an agreement has been reached will it be processed in a draft collective labor agreement, from which the final collective labor agreement text will be formulated,” says the chip machine maker.

“There are even trade union executives involved in preparing the proposals”



ASML once again does not agree with the unions’ allegations that the company is not taking a clear position in negotiations. “ASML is transparent about the ambitions that are communicated in a letter to trade unions before the negotiations.”

“In the example of adjusting our working hours, trade union executives are even involved in preparing proposals in working groups,” says the Veldhoven company.

Trade union facilities

In addition to the difficult negotiations, the unions are dissatisfied with the space offered to them within the company – something that is also part of the negotiations about working hours. “We can easily walk into companies such as DAF, Philips, and VDL to talk to employees, for example,” says Peter Reniers of the FNV. The unions say that at these companies, newsletters can be posted at fixed locations within the workplace, flyers can be distributed, and, if necessary, meetings can be arranged.

Source :Studio040

Translate: Ayşenur Kuran

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