Present time with the Corona pandemic is unprecedented. It makes you think. How sensible is it to outsource activities to far away countries? What is now really important and what is luxury or of secondary importance? Now it shows, that the food industry with its distribution and shops and the whole public heath sector are of vital importance. Much of our activities are in an office environment.Our government gives directives for working safely:

“the advice to you as employer to let employees work at home as much as possible up and until April 6.”

At Nouryon the following directive is given:

“Don’t go to your work when you are ill or when you have symptoms. In all other cases it stays possible to work from your office or site.”

There is a difference between the direction chosen by Nouryon and the advice of the government. To me it seems to be in everyone’s interest to follow the directives of our government as strictly as possible. Work, that can be done at home should be done at home.

A lot of meetings are cancelled until further notice or continued in a digital way. Similar for the internal meetings of VMHP Chemicals and Coatings and deliberations with other unions, the pension fund, AkzoNobel and Nouryon.

Chris van Loon retires

In this turbulent time we also have to do with changing caretaker/negotiator. Chris van Loon, supporting us already for nine years, retires April 1, 2020. Later we will say good-bye officially.

We’ve found an excellent successor in Jan Admiraal. Jan Admiraal will introduce himself in this newsletter. For continuity reasons in pension matters Chris is willing to further support us.

Chris has transferred the dossiers of individual care to Jan Admiraal. During a meeting with AkzoNobel there was already an opportunity to introduce him.

Earlier we indicated that we will allocate the capacity of the negotiator/caretaker as efficiently as possible. It is therefore necessary to involve staff members in the deliberations with the employers and the pension fund.

Since the CLA’s and pension arrangements come to an end at the end of 2020 new agreements have to be prepared. This means a lot of work. VMHP Chemicals and Coatings secures the individual care, our highest priority, by allocating the capacity of the negotiator in the area of labor conditions and pensions as efficient as possible.

STI Nouryon

The negotiation result for CLA1 and CLA2, accepted by a majority of the members, referred for CLA2 to an international STI arrangement, of which the content was not shared in advance with the labor organizations. Now it seems that the implementation of that STI arrangement leads to large differences at equal assessment. We will ask Nouryon for an explanation. We also need your input to get a better impression how the STI arrangement works in practice. For sure the STI arrangement will be subject of negotiation for the new CLA.

Please send your experience with STI 2019 to


I already mentioned the pension subject. This year we started preparations for the new pension agreement for 2021. Since the elaboration of the national Pension Agreement is not available this is complicated. This means that we will probably end up with a pension agreement for a much shorter period than the usual 5 years. The present financial position of the pension fund APF has worsened because of the Corona crisis:

The interest rate tends to go up, having a positive effect. We will have to wait how this develops.

Concluding I wish you all a safe and healthy future in these turbulent times.

Pay attention to each other,

Loek van Driel