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Dutch Union and Belgian United Bicycles Unite Production

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NIEUWSLEUSEN, Netherlands (September 20) – The production of the Dutch bike maker Union will be moved from the factory in the northeast of the Netherlands where they have been made since 1904 to the United Bicycles facility in Maasmechelen, Belgium. The outdated Union facility will be closed, which means among other a hefty bill (estimated […]

NIEUWSLEUSEN, Netherlands (September 20) – The production of the Dutch bike maker Union will be moved from the factory in the northeast of the Netherlands where they have been made since 1904 to the United Bicycles facility in Maasmechelen, Belgium. The outdated Union facility will be closed, which means among other a hefty bill (estimated at NLG 4 million (US$1.68mn;EUR1.81mn) for polluted soil. Locally it means unemployment for most of the 120 Union factory staff. They all got the formal offer of a new job at the Belgian factory, which would mean a 300 km move. Most employees consider a move worse than a layoff. The unions prefer a bankruptcy file plus a restart. Union sells an estimated 60,000 bicycles a year under its own Union brand exclusively through dealers, and the old factory also made a similar number of bicycles under various private labels for retail chains. A sales and marketing office will stay in the Netherlands to handle the dealer sales. Union owner Winning Wheels has founded a new holding company for Union in which both Winning Wheels and United Bicycles hold 50% of the shares. (OB)

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