EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change



Geographic Location

Country: Belgium
Region: Arr. Oudenaarde; Prov. Oost-Vlaanderen; Vlaams Gewest
Location of affected unit(s): Oudenaarde


Sector: Manufacturing
Manufacture of textiles, apparel, leather and related products
15.12 - Manufacture of luggage, handbags and the like, saddlery and harness
Number Employed: 770

Employment Effects

Announcement Date: 29-05-2020
Planned Job Reductions min: 94
Planned Job Reductions max: 160
Type of Restructuring: Internal restructuring
Employment Effect Start: 29-05-2020
Direct Dismissals: 94

Additional Information

Samsonite, an international producer and retailer of luggage and suitcases has announced it will be restructuring its facility in Oudenaarde. In total 94 employees will be facing collective dismissal, 56 white collar and 38 blue collar workers. In addition up to 66 contracts will not be renewed, either those of employees going on pension or temporary contracts. The reasoning behind the restructuring is strongly related to the current Covid-19 crisis. Because of the closing of the borders, travelling has been reduced to a minimum in the past weeks. Additionally the need for items like briefcases and backpacks has reduced as well because of the general reduction in mobility. The total European revenue of the company has decreased by 62% compared to the same period last year. According to the travel sector, the situation will take several years to return to normal and probably not before 2023. Trade unions were expecting downsizing, however not to such a large extent. Together with the company management they are currently looking at and negotiating possible solutions.