Passengers in a coach. Photo: TaxiPro (UK)

Royal Dutch Transport (KNV) is not pleased with the claims made yesterday by FNV and CNV Vakmensen that safety in coaches could be jeopardized by the lack of a better collective labor agreement. Spokesperson Hilbert Michel even reports that the employers’ organization is considering legal action.

According to Hilbert Michel, the claims made by the unions are not correct. “The claims they have made really make no sense. “It’s already wrong and it’s a wonder it hasn’t gone wrong yet,” is what FNV actually says. When you make these kinds of claims, you really need to come up with something more than just innuendo. We are investigating what we can do with this legally.”

Lower limit According to the employers’ organisation, safety is not in the least at risk. “Traveling by bus is super safe. It is part of the entrepreneurs’ system to guarantee safety as well as possible,” explains Michel further. “Drivers don’t transport phones, they transport people. You have to handle it safely and everyone wants that too. So I don’t understand why people are now insinuating that that wouldn’t be the case. We find this action seriously below average. It destroys the market. The unions have really fallen through the bottom line, as far as I’m concerned. In any case, it will not bring a new collective labor agreement a millimeter closer.”

In addition to the claims about safety in the coaches, several claims are incorrect, according to Hilbert Michel. “For example, the unions say that coach drivers have not received a pay rise since 2020, but that is simply not true. During the corona period, drivers gained 3 and 3.5 percent. That agreement has simply been implemented, because it still stemmed from the previous collective labor agreement. It’s just not true what they say, the claims rattle. I really wonder what the unions are up to. They are allowed to play hard, but I think it backfires this way,” concludes Michel.

Unsafe situations On Thursday, both FNV and CNV Vakmensen announced that the absence of a good collective labor agreement can lead to unsafe situations in coaches. Because coach drivers have to work long hours and are poorly paid, unsafe situations can arise, as the unions wrote in a letter to parent – and participation councils of primary and secondary schools.

“Due to the low wages, drivers are forced to drive multiple journeys and breaks are skipped due to the high workload. Fortunately, that has not yet led to unsafe situations, but we should not wait for that either,” said FNV Toer director Lutz Kressin.

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