Jessica Vermeer
2 April 2020

Unions are furious about Signify’s proposal to sacrifice wages, reports the regional newspaper Eindhovens Dagblad. Earlier this week, the lighting company asked its 32,000 employees worldwide in an internal message to hand in 20 percent of their hours and therefore their salary in April, May and June.

Signify states the unusual request was made to avoid forced redundancies, as it is greatly affected by the corona crisis. In addition, no more external workers are hired. Salary increases based on past performance will be postponed between 1 April and 1 October.

Signify HQ HTC
Credit: Signify

The unions, however, are baffled. Ron Peters, board member of FNV, comments in ED: “More companies are demanding sacrifices from their staff these days. We take action against that too, but in the Netherlands, Signify’s position is really unheard of.” The unions are asking employees to not comply with the request.

Peters points out that Signify has a 6.2 billion euro turnover and is making profit. He therefore demands the proposal to be dismissed. The government measures for companies will probably not apply to Signify, he thinks, since the lighting specialist doesn’t meet the standard. “It’s simply not necessary. So a sacrifice from employees isn’t either.”


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