Part-time benefit plan divides Corus: FD

Unions and management at steel plant Corus in IJmuiden are divided about the company’s possible introduction of part-time work, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Monday.

Unions claim Corus plans to use the part-time work scheme to reduce the cost of its ongoing reorganisation. Corus Nederland is cutting its workforce by 923, of which 800 jobs will go in IJmuiden.
The FNV Bondgenoten union says the company plans to offer people who have agreed to leave voluntarily the chance to work fewer hours as an interim measure. Trainees who have completed their training and people nearing pension age may also be offered part-time work, the union claims.
Earlier this year, the government agreed that companies which have seen their turnover go down by 30% because of the recession can apply for permission to make some staff go staff part-time. The government picks up the bill for the lost hours.
But the steel workers union also says some parts of the company are working a lot of overtime and bringing in staff from outside. Corus is part of the Tata steel group.
A spokesman for the company told the FD Corus had not yet decided whether to apply for inclusion in the part-time unemployment benefit scheme. ‘We think it inappropriate that the union has already begun talking with its members because our discussions with the unions have not yet been completed,’ he said.
Overtime and bringing in extra staff temporarily is normal during the summer season, he said.

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