Several coach drivers will stop working on Wednesday 21 October to go on strike.Photo: Sander van Vliet

On Wednesday, striking coach drivers will gather in Ede for a national demonstration. This is reported by FNV. They went on strike to express their dissatisfaction with the collective labor agreement offer made by employers last month.

“As far as we know, it is the first time that coach drivers have gone on strike,” says Lutz Kressin, director of FNV Toer. “They are really offended by the offer. Five hundred euros as compensation for the enormously increased prices in the shops is really insufficient. The rest of the offer must also be improved”, he believes.

Second collective agreement offer rejected The employers made a second collective labor agreement offer last month, after the first offer for the summer had already been rejected by the members of FNV. The union members want wages to rise in line with store prices, which amounts to more than per cent. According to the union, the employers offer for 2022 a one-off 500 euros, for 2022 7 percent and for 2024 3 percent. Furthermore, the drivers want that from 2022 all services 500 percent paid and a maximum working day of twelve hours.

Bus transport Netherlands (BVN), which represents the interests of employers, previously stated that it was astonished about the fact that the unions have rejected their collective agreement final offer. The employers offered a salary increase of 13 percent spread over two years. “It is really an excellent offer”, BVN chairman Bertho Eckhardt said at the time. “We are going further with the offer than other collective agreements that are now being concluded in other sectors and we are offering more than core inflation.”

Staff shortage According to FNV, Ede has been chosen as a strike location because of the blockage on the railway between Utrecht and Ede. The drivers of the buses that are deployed for this purpose fall under the Collective Labor Agreement for Closed Bus Transport. In this sector, journeys are made for, among other things, bus trips abroad, school trips and thus replacement transport in the event of train disruptions. “One of the problems caused by the unattractive current collective labor agreement is the large staff shortage. Slovenian and Polish drivers and buses are now even deployed in the event of blockages,” says Kressin.

In addition, Kressin says that the large staff shortage causes a high workload and other problems. “For example, school trips cannot take place. And if it does go through, the ride could sometimes be driven by a driver who’s been behind the wheel for three long days. Security is slowly starting to be jeopardized as well.” The only solution, according to FNV, is a fair and attractive collective labor agreement. “Then it will be interesting for new drivers to come and work in the sector again and for existing drivers to stay.”

Read also:

Trade unions: coach strike at Stationsplein Ede-Wageningen Coach companies stunned about rejection of collective bargaining offer and announced strike FNV: Employees of coach companies to go on strike FNV director Kressin: ‘Sector is empty’ Coach companies are not afraid of protest actions by drivers FNV: employees of coach companies are going to campaign

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