Both blue collar and office jobs face the axe at the company’s site in Houthalen-Helchteren, while in Genk only white-collar jobs are under threat. Yannick Urbain of the socialist trade union ABVV told VRT News that “Management has said that it is due to overcapacity on the market and that there is a price war raging between producers”. "However, management also gave the coronavirus crisis as a reason. There are fewer building sites so there is less demand for concrete arch section that Echo makes”.
Not surprising the news have come as a blow to Echo’s employees. “After the extraordinary works’ council meeting (on Friday) they went straight home, but they returned to work yesterday. Off course they are bitterly disappointed”.
It’s not the first time that jobs have been lost at Echo. “In 2013 Echo was taken over by the Irish multinational CRH and 130 jobs were lost then”, Mr Urbain told VRT News. "It is our intention to save as many jobs as possible for those that want to continue working here”, the union representative added.