Quarter of Signify workforce axed

Lamp bulb manufacturer Signify (formerly Philips in Turnhout) is shedding a quarter of its workforce.  Staff were informed at a works council on Thursday.

109 blue collar jobs and a further 49 white collar jobs are being axed at the Turnhout plant (Antwerp Province).  The plant manufactures light bulbs including those used on street lamps.  Demand for such lamps is falling due to the use of LED lamps that are not produced in Turnhout.

The workforce and the unions were aware job losses were on the cards but are surprised by the scale.  The management hopes to achieve some of the job losses through natural wastage and voluntary redundancies, but few elderly employees are still at work at the plant.  Over-50's fear they will never find a new job.