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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ford Genk

Everyone knows the automobile industry has no more future. Here in Belgium the factories are mainly assembly lines. They make the cars with parts provided. But each year less cars are sold - we don't have one anymore and use instead our bike or the public transport - and our workmen are expensive.

So the big companies, like Ford, close down those factories in our country. First there was Renault Vilvoorde, and now it's Ford Genk. Thousand or more people will lose their job. Now I do think this is bad, but what gets my hair on end is the fact these workers keep protesting for more and more. They are promised they can work until 2014, but instead they stand picket and let nobody enter the factory. Instead of using this extra year to put aside a monetary reserve.

They will probably not be long out of a job. The government will help them find another one. Also good, I think, but I wish they'd do this for everyone. If you work in a small company, and it closes down, nobody will do anything extra for you. Nor will you receive a big bonus, like the one which is promised to the Ford workers.

That I don't find right. If anyone loses his or her job, they can go to the unemployment office and apply for aid. But those automobile workers get extra bonusses which will keep them comfortable for a long time. And people just don't see it.

The newspapers are full of articles about the closure of Ford. But nobody said anything when over 3,000 teachers were put out of work. This happened in the 1980's. A minister of education had decided to build more schools and thus employ more teachers. But his successor thought this was too expensive and closed down those new schools. Not one article in the newspapers - of course, teachers don't work, it is thought, they only have lots of holidays! Yes, that is true, but I invite everybody to come and stand in the classroom for just two weeks. You'll know then you need that holiday, and also that teaching demands lots of preparation and correcting. Both my sister and I were out of work for a long time in that period. We did not get a compensation from the goverment. They did not even try to find us another job.

So I can't really show sympathy for those Ford workers. We have also had bad times and we survived. They will also do this, even if it means moving places to find another job.

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