Unions have begun negotiating compensation packages with management at the Volkswagen plant in Brussels where around 4,000 jobs are to go. Strike action continues amid fears the plant will close. Workers from Monday will have just 25 euros per day income.
Pascal van Poucke, VW employee, said: “People, with 25 euros, are going to have a real problem. They are not going to be able to manage, they won’t know what to do. With pay like that, well, we all have to buy things and what can you do with 25 euros, 25 euros a day.”
The German carmaker is in the process of a huge restructuring plan. The Belgian press accuses the company of economic nationalism by preferring to cuts jobs outside Germany. Business for Volkswagen dealers in the area around the Brussels plant suddenly looks bleak.
Geneviève Lesage, VW dealer said: “Well, it’s clear that the job losses will be a real shock locally. Lots of people nearby work at the plant. So there will be more unemployment. And that could, of course, lead to a fall in sales. That could happen.”
Officials at the federal, regional and EU levels have met in a bid to ease the pain for the workers at the Brussels plant.
They have set up a crisis group of top officials to help those who will be laid-off.