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Dutch Bike Maker Union Restarts

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NIEUWLEUSEN, Netherlands (November 28) – Larcom, a social employment enterprise has taken over the activities of the bankrupt Dutch bicycle factory Union. Production will be resumed at the present plant until July 2002 when it will be replaced to a modern facility in the same region. The restart will be financially backed by the city […]

NIEUWLEUSEN, Netherlands (November 28) – Larcom, a social employment enterprise has taken over the activities of the bankrupt Dutch bicycle factory Union. Production will be resumed at the present plant until July 2002 when it will be replaced to a modern facility in the same region. The restart will be financially backed by the city council of Ommen where Larcom is based.
Union already outsourced subassembly work to Larcom, and the demise of Union would effectively have rendered more than half the number of Larcom workers jobless as well. Incidentally, Larcom was one of the major creditors for Union.
The bid that Larcom has made was both the highest and included the highest employment. 40 (out of 140) Union workers will keep their jobs with the new enterprise. For the remaining 100 there are no social provisions within the estate.
The system of social employment enterprises in the Netherlands is generally accepted as a fair competition by regular enterprises. Employing mainly disabled persons, the system is based on market conformity. There is a supplement based on the partial productivity per capita, but otherwise it has to compete with regular enterprises. The Dutch system is also accepted within the EU as fair competition. In the case of the Union bicycle factory, Larcom as an enterprise has the reserve and the competence to reach an agreement with the receiver. (OB)

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