DPG Media wants to close its print facility in Lokeren. Only in the Netherlands does the group still have its own newspaper printers.
DPG Media, formerly known as De Persgroep, announced Monday afternoon in a private business council that it intends to close its printing plant in Lokeren. The guilds’ reaction was unpleasantly surprised. We usually now evaluate the organization of work that was modified last year. “People don’t make that effort and simply say they want to close,” says Bart Lippert, secretary of the socialist trade union.
According to Lippert, DPG Media had previously threatened to interfere with its Belgian printing company. The story was that it was more expensive here than in Holland. But I would like to see that in specific numbers.
Lippert says the shutdown has been prepared behind the scenes. A month ago they sold the building to Warehouses De Pauw (WDP). It then announced that it was in the process of issuing 25.7 million euros of new shares. Then DPG Media told us that the money will be invested in the group. Well, he will be in severance pay now.” The press employs 63 workers and 15 white-collar workers.
At DPG Media, a spokeswoman for DPG Media places a different emphasis. Distribution of paper newspapers is declining at a rate of four percent each year. As a result, many printers experience overcapacity.
According to Goovaerts, the printing business in Lokeren – contrary to what was believed 15 years ago – did not turn out to be changed in the future. It did not break through the innovative concept of waterless printing, which made it a handicap. There is no longer any focus on innovations and fewer and fewer suppliers are investing in them.
Thus, DPG Media is saying goodbye to what was once a masterpiece. The printing house was a real sign along the E17 in Lokeren. There were both latest news, the largest newspaper in Flanders, too Morning printed. Lokeren’s departure is accompanied by a change of form. DPG Media will print the two newspapers in tabloid format, rather than in Berliner format. Exactly when this is possible depends on negotiations with the unions. They start tomorrow. DPG says it wants to avoid maximum layoffs.
Lippert takes into account that DPG Media will print its Flemish newspapers on the group’s Dutch press. DPG has one in Amsterdam, The Hague and Eindhoven. Goovaerts says nothing has been decided yet, and that distribution should also be considered.
Other printers also take into account that DPG Media will make the most of their own printers in the Netherlands. “We can also print tabloids,” says Xavier Bouckaert of Rollarta.
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