Trade unions FNV and CNV have had an eventful year. Although contact with the supporters was again different than usual because of corona, agreement has been reached with the employers about a pay increase for taxi drivers and new rules for the paid time per 2022. However, it was not possible to process this into a collective labor agreement text in time, as a result of which the taxi industry enters the new year without a collective agreement.
“We started this year in the middle of a lockdown“, says Meindert Gorter, director of FNV Taxi. “In order to set a good example as trade union organisations, we often worked from home. And where we normally started negotiations for a new collective labor agreement at the beginning of the first quarter, we have now postponed this. When the negotiations did start in March, however, it was difficult to meet and speak to our supporters due to corona.”
“Normally we went to taxi ranks, but now everything had to be digital ”, adds CNV driver Agostino Di Giacomo Russo. However, this did not mean that the vote of the grassroots did not reach the union. “In the end they managed to find us digitally. As a result, I got the impression that we were able to get the key points for the collective labor agreement negotiations out of them.”
Great division about paid time According to both union officials, these were the points that had been discussed for a long time, such as new rules for paid time and a wage increase. According to them, this would influence the experience of the profession in a positive way. “I think we have raised these points in the negotiations more strongly than ever before,” said Gorter. Ultimately, this led to agreements with the employers . Wages will increase by 2.5 percent with effect from 2022 and unpaid interruptions will disappear.
Processing these agreements together into a collective labor agreement text, however, turned out not to be a smooth process, just like negotiation. “There is mainly great division about what the agreements about paid time should entail in practice. We have always believed that the current state of affairs is very strange. Now an employer does not have to pay a salary if he no longer has a ride as planned. If you compare it to a shopping street, aren’t employees also paid even if no customers come in?”, says Gorter.
The current state of affairs is against the law in The directors state that the employers have also taken a very tenacious attitude, with the result that the sector is entering the new year without a collective labor agreement. “It is stated in the law that people must be paid for the hours in which they are engaged in work, including interruptions. Employers admit this, but try to avoid it in all sorts of ways. We understand that this is better for them, so that they can tender for tenders with low amounts. But this is not fair to the employee”, says Di Giacomo Russo.
Gorter emphasizes that there are certainly entrepreneurs who want the best for their employees and have a vision for the future. “But too many entrepreneurs lack this. As long as policy does not change, the sector will have a challenge to be attractive and find sufficient staff.”
Slowing down the industry exodus they say starts with raising salaries and eliminating unpaid breaks. “More and more drivers are wondering why they should continue to work in the industry,” says Di Giacomo Russo. “As bus or truck drivers, they earn more and, moreover, they no longer have the uncertainty that if a ride breaks down, they will not be paid.”
Plans for the new year Although the gentlemen are very disappointed that the employers’ organization did not succeed in reaching a settlement in time, they remain courageous for the future. “We will continue until there is an improvement in paid time. Fortunately, the first step was taken at the last minute of 2022. As trade unions, we have acted in the interests of employees. No collective labor agreement is not beneficial to anyone, because it causes a lot of unrest. But it is really high time now.”
Both directors expect the collective labor agreement in 2022 will soon be declared generally binding, so that the new rules for paid time are implemented. “And then we quickly get to work on other improvements to the collective labor agreement, such as job differentiation in pay and more vacation days. It’s about the basics that need to change. Until this happens, the taxi industry is not future-proof”, concludes Di Giacomo Russo.
CNV: ‘Taxi collective agreement really needs to improve to retain professionals’ ‘Non-compliance with Taxi collective agreement and intimidation of drivers must stop’ KNV in TaxiPro TV: ‘Greatest wish is normal convert to 2022’ 2022 2022