Agfa is one of the largest manufacturers of halide materials, for industrial, medical and entertainment markets, partially being market leader. Also for non-halide imaging material and foils and membranes and inks. All these are primarily at stake with this strike.
Originally Posted by PKM-25
But the larger revenue Agfa makes with digital imaging machinery (X-ray apparatus and ink-jet printing apparatus) and IT technologies.
Agfa, once founded as manufacturer of expendables (fine chemicals, later photographic materials) did made the step over to machinery and software.
In order to gain a constant revenue beyond the point in time markets will be saturated, they will have to make these expendables too by having them declared obsolete and to be substituted by new machines and software.
In spite of all criticism: seen in the context of the competitors Agfa looks quite good economically.
Seemingly just due to their rejection of the consumer market and the establishing of new technologies in the non-consumer markets.
The strike is continuing. Meanwhile it is the longest one at Agfa for decades.
The situation is worsening. More employees are said to have joined. The strikers have meanwhile locked the ports with chains.
As result the management requested the bailiff to enforce access for those still willing to work.
Police showed up with watercanons, but retreated after mediation of the mayor. The management cancelled the order to the bailiff.
This noon there will be a new meeting between unions and management on neutral ground.
strike has ended
After gathering for 12 hours late at night a appeasement has been achieved.
Work will start again tomorrow.
Hopefully Retro 80s will be back in stock at the German outlets (120 format, that is). I have to re-stock for spring-summer :D
Gevaert, before the union with Agfa after WWII, was an increadibly progressive company in terms of social services. Not so difficult: year after year, the company was able to incraese its profits. As a reward, the employees were allowed to get early retirement (after 20 years of night shift, total career of 33 yeas: this means retirement at 51, a part payed by the government, another by the company).
Today, the profits have gone. The employees, luckily, are still there (3000 on the Mortsel-Flanders plant). They have striked for 12 days to maintain their right to early retirement, and they have won. The employment is assured by the company direction until 2016.
So, don't worry, our precious Rollei retro 80S, retro 400S (former Aviphot films) will stay available - until 2016. I fear that, after that date, no more film will be produced, because this company is doomed to disseapear. In the economical situation now, no company can afford it to send 51-year old people to pension when the legal age is 65.
The strikers even refered to Lieven Gevaert, whom they believe as patronizing CEO to have handled the matter differently. They even made him sympatizer of their cause by attaching their bandana to the Lieven statue.
Originally Posted by Ikon
Just looking up Agfa-Gevaert, 11,728 employees.
Originally Posted by MDR
Let's say the CEO has something massive like $10 million annually. If the CEO cut their own earnings in half and all of that went to employees, it'd be worth and additional $426.33 to them, per year.
A typical healthy company has 10% of it's revenue as profits, and ~40% of it's expenses as wages.
All the major players of that industry experienced an incredible growth (smaller companies surrendered though) in that period.
Originally Posted by Ikon
But there also was the silver-crisis, which nearly broke Gevaert the neck. (Gevaert proper got paid out of that marriage by means of Bayer-shares and left the photochemical sector for good).
And short after it was decided at Agfa than one cannot run a cameraworks on deficits for many years just to sell film for those cameras. So a complete plant was closed with thousands of people loosing their job.
So, there had been dark clouds even in prosperous times.
That's right. But: Gevaert bears the costs of a huge retirement fund since years, caused by the retirement conditions that are considered as a given right to the employees. But infact, these conditions are the product of a kind of agreement between employer and employee (syndicat) that is negotiated regulary (this is called a 'CAO' or collectieve arbeidsovereenkomst, some kind of social agreement). The continuous threat for strikes during such negotiations is the major cause for the fact that the company didn't change the retirement conditions in all these years. Today, the continuation of that system has become a danger for the future of the company and for the guarantee of employment for the yonger generation.
Originally Posted by Athiril
The possibly huge wages of a CEO are hardly a counterweight for the impact of this retirement fund.