Royal IHC and the Dutch trade unions FNV, CNV, RMU and De Unie have signed a covenant in view of the replacement of the Dutch Walrus class submarines. In October, another contender for the large contract, Damen Shipyards, signed a similar covenant with the trade unions.

The replacement programme for the Walrus class submarines offers the Dutch manufacturing and knowledge industry many opportunities. It will give a major boost to knowledge development and create high-quality jobs in various disciplines. To recruit staff for this major project and get them trained to the desired quality level in time, the parties have agreed to intensively work together should Royal IHC and its French partner Naval Group be selected by the Dutch government to carry out the project.

Inflow of professionals

Agreements have been made in the covenant on recruiting, training and keeping employees permanently employable. With this covenant, all parties involved endorse the importance of cooperation, good working conditions, the provision of apprenticeships, inflow and growth opportunities and the development of the right (professional) training.

‘The replacement of the Walrus class is a very large and magnificent project,’ says Dave Vander Heyde, CEO Royal IHC. ‘A challenge that IHC cannot take on alone. We of course need Naval Group for that, and certainly as many Dutch partners as possible, in all kinds of areas. We are therefore very happy with the support of the unions. Together we can ensure the correct inflow and flow of professionals in the Rotterdam region.’

Damen Shipyards

The trade unions signed a similar covenant with Damen Shipyards, another contender for the submarine contract together with Swedish Saab. The covenant was then said to be signed in hopes of swaying the Dutch Government to choose a contractor that will ensure a large part of the work is carried out in the Netherlands by Dutch companies. Third contender for the project is German ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

Picture by the Dutch Government.