New round of layoffs at Philips

Philips applies for most Dutch patents
Photo credit: Alain Heeren/Studio040

A new round of dismissals from Philips is also being felt in Best, says the CNV union. Today it was announced that 400 jobs will be cut at a Philips factory in Drachten, Friesland.

It is the umpteenth round of dismissals at the Eindhoven company in recent years. 4,000 jobs were cut worldwide in 2022, including in Best. At the time, reasons given included the war in Ukraine, as well as the sleep apnea malfunction.

Once again, the affair surrounding the sleep apnea machines is said to be the basis for the major reorganisation in the Frisian city. “In America, Philips settled a lawsuit about it for more than 100 million. But more economic and individual claims are likely to follow. These will again cost millions,” says Arjan Huizinga of the CNV trade union, “that continues to resonate within the company.”

The trade unionist thinks it is unfair that Philips blames the staff. “Can the fact that Philips has to overcome a major financial hurdle in terms of legal costs and compensation be the measure for a reduction in employment? And soon for a meager or even no wage improvement?” Huizinga wonders.


Finally, the mass dismissal in Friesland also has consequences for the Philips branch in Best. There has been a disappointing order intake for several quarters, Huizinga says.

“Best, together with Drachten, is the only Philips production location in the Netherlands. Things actually went well in Drachten. This is different in Best because that is where the healthcare department is located that suffers from the sleep apnea affair. Orders are lagging behind because customers no longer trust Philips quality,” says Huizinga. “Employees in Best are already feeling the downpour.”


“There is no guarantee that the problems will be solved after the reorganisation in Drachten. Philips refuses to provide employment guarantees. I fear that this will again cause major unrest in the company and that is something Philips cannot use,” the trade unionist concludes.


Philips itself says that the intervention in Drachten is not a consequence of the sleep apnea affair. “The announcement is separate from our voluntary safety notification regarding sleep apnea devices,” a spokesperson said.

“This intended decision stems from the growth strategy announced on January 30, 2023 and is aimed at better utilising the potential of Drachten by focusing more on the unique skills of our people there. With this we want to make Drachten future-proof again.”


Source: Studio040

For Eindhoven News: Lila Mehrez

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