Open letter to VDL employees

Dear neighbours.

I have been sitting in a tree next to the factory where you work for 5 days now. I am happy to do that in order to save this forest. At the same time I understand very well that you are worried about your job at VDL. I myself also work for a boss who pays me too little, constantly threatens me with redundancy and is actually only interested in more profit. And that is exactly why I think we should join forces. Billionaire De Leegte pretends it is a battle between forests and jobs. And therefore between forest occupiers and factory workers. But that is not true. It is a battle between his profits on the one hand and the preservation of forests and jobs on the other. Because, of course, there is another way. A new factory can be built for electric cars without cutting down the forest. It is just not the cheapest option. And if we, forest dwellers and employees, work together, we can force VDL to do so.

Because what exactly does VDL want? VDL now wants to cut down a forest to tempt Rivian to come to Born. Rivian also has two other locations in mind. And it is far from certain whether the forest will be cut down for nothing. Once felled, it is lost forever. In a newly planted forest, there will be no place in the coming ten to twenty years for the rare bats that live there now. But VDL also wants something else. It wants to build a fully automated factory so that VDL can lay off most of its employees. Those who can still work there will get an even more temporary contract. Because the billionaire behind VDL considers you a cost item and a nuisance. And an obstacle to profit. Van Der Leegte does not want to keep 4000 jobs. He wants as much profit as possible. At the expense of forests and jobs. He doesn’t care.

Can’t that be done differently? Yes, it can. If we put pressure on Van Der Leegte together. And you can do that like no other. Last year you forced him to increase his wages after a strike. Investments can be made in the present factory. It is possible to build on another site. And there can even be plans to produce something other than cars.

Do we let ourselves be played off against each other? Or do we engage in a conversation?