July 20, 2024

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About four hundred employees fear for their jobs: the Huntsman branch in Everberg (Kortenberg) closes

About four hundred employees fear for their jobs: the Huntsman branch in Everberg (Kortenberg) closes

The American company Huntsman will close a branch in Everberg by the end of 2023, due to uncertainty among employees. © ROBtv


US chemical company Huntsman, which has a branch in Everberg, will close its doors by the end of next year. The company, which employs about 400 people, says it wants to ensure long-term sustainability. Talks with unions are scheduled for next week.

Martin de Kock

According to the BBTK trade union, the Everberg site will be closed and sold. “The research department will be moved to a smaller site near Everberg,” Regional Secretary Catherine Vanovellen said. People will be transported, for example, to Frankfurt or Krakow. In addition, employees will also have to work from home, which is quite an adjustment if it is full time. It is not clear at the moment how many people will have to adapt or unfortunately will be expelled. Although we can say that some people will be affected.”

Historically high inflation

Huntsman doesn’t deny that changes are on the way. “We can confirm that we have informed our Labor Council and our staff that we have to take measures,” says Senior Site Manager Vivian Neyens. “Like many companies active in industrial markets, we are currently facing a challenging economic reality due to historically high inflation, high interest rates affecting certain markets such as the construction sector, and a general slowdown in the global economy.”

The measures planned for Huntsman include reducing the presence in several European countries. “As too Moving to facilities that reflect the company’s future needs and an intention to move some jobs to new locations,” said Nyen. “These initiatives are now being consulted with European and local business councils. Whatever the impact, we will do everything we can to treat everyone with honesty, integrity, respect, and true to our values. “.

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‘mutual respect’

Talks with unions are scheduled for next week. “Negotiations need to be done about a solid arrangement for those who leave and those who stay,” Vanovelin says. “Since there was already a mass surplus of about sixty people here in May, there is already a social plan, so we have the foundation. I would like to stress that there was also very good social counseling at that time, where we were able to reduce the number of repetitions. That is why We assume that the talks will take place with mutual respect, and that the intent is to avoid laying off as many workers as possible now.”