Lamp manufacturer Signify, former lighting division of Philips, is cutting a quarter of Dutch jobs

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Lamp manufacturer Signify, the former lighting division of Philips, is cutting 1,000 jobs this year, almost half of which are in the Netherlands. The company is facing difficult market conditions.

In the Netherlands this would amount to almost 500 jobs, but Signify does not want to say how many exactly. The remaining more than 500 jobs will disappear in the other 29 countries where the company is active. The reorganization was already announced in December, but the extent was only announced this morning by CEO Eric Rondolat, in an explanation of the annual and quarterly figures.

Signify has many office staff, a research department and a distribution center in the Netherlands. The only remaining production site will close later this year, it had already been announced. The company hopes to save around 200 million euros with the layoffs and other measures. The focus is on so-called non-production related expenses. This also includes the head office in the Netherlands.

Shocked unions

Several unions reacted with shock. They say they were not informed in advance. According to the unions, Signify still employs around 2,000 people in the Netherlands. The bottom line is that a quarter of those jobs will disappear. “But if you put out a quarter, what is your vision for the future?” asks Karin Veugelers of FNV.

“Are we talking about bad management or bad business here?” says Arthur Bot of CNV. “People have said goodbye before. That did not lead to the desired results. Why should the leak be over now.”

“This is a significant blow to the confidence of the staff,” adds Suat Koetloe of the trade union De Unie. He has already seen several smaller rounds of layoffs. “You never get used to that, but now it’s so much in one fell swoop. People panic. They think: this is really not going well.” He expects that staff who are not in the danger zone will now also look around.

Less demand for lamps

The manufacturer saw a decline in turnover and net profit in the last quarter of 2023. Signify is mainly affected by a weak market in China. “And this market will not recover,” says a spokesperson.

There is also less demand for lamps. This is partly due to the transition to LED lamps, which last longer and therefore need to be purchased less often. In addition, the problems in the real estate market also play a role. Less is being built, so fewer lamps are needed.

Last year, 2,700 jobs were cut at Signify. At that time it mainly concerned factory personnel, because less was produced. The company went from approximately 35,000 employees worldwide at the end of 2022 to the 32,000 employees it has today.

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