The unions have announced that the first drivers in student and care transport will stop working on Friday.Photo: ANP/ Robin van Lonkhuijsen

Drivers in care and student transport will go on strike on Friday. The relay strikes will start Friday at companies in Zeeland, North Holland, Gelderland and Overijssel. FNV and CNV Vakmensen report this. Strike meetings are held in Middelburg, Zutphen and Oostzaan. In order to minimize the impact on the vulnerable group of passengers, the strikes are limited to four companies, according to the unions.

For example, there will be a strike in Zeeland on Friday at taxi companies Munckhof, De Vlieger and Citax. In North Holland also at Munckhof and in Gelderland and Overijssel at taxi company TCR. In Middelburg and Oostzaan, the strikers march in the morning to the employers to hold a meeting there and in Zutphen, according to the union, this takes place at the town hall.

No other way out According to Meindert Gorter, director of FNV Zorgtransport and taxi, the drivers who stop working on Friday realize what consequences this can have for their passengers. “But nevertheless they see no other way out than to stop working.” In addition, according to the FNV director, a new collective labor agreement is absolutely necessary for a healthy sector. “In this way, there will also be driven drivers in the future to drive passengers to school, hospital and day care.”

Rick Pellis, negotiator on behalf of CNV Vakmensen, also agrees. “We realize the enormous impact that actions can have for travelers. That is why we are currently deliberately keeping the actions limited in scope. We hope that large-scale actions will really not be necessary.”

According to Pellis, taxi drivers are not even waiting for actions at all. “They are aware of the major consequences for travelers,” explains the CNV negotiator. “But what the drivers really want is a much better collective labor agreement. They want a living income, with a fair break arrangement and continued payment in the event of illness. That is much needed. The sector is now empty because the working conditions are so lousy. The collective labor agreement must be taken to a higher level, so that people are also appreciated for the important work they do”, says Pellis.

“Requirements very normal” According to FNV, the demands of the drivers that the unions have put on the table during the collective bargaining are quite normal. “They want a wage with which they can pay for groceries and bills, if they have not been able to take a break, they want that time no longer to be deducted from their salary and they simply want to continue to be paid if they are ill,” says Gorter.

Finally, CNV Vakmensen says it hopes for a quick solution to the collective labor agreement conflict. “As far as we are concerned, we are trying to get out of this quickly. We are happy to discuss this with employers. But that’s where the ball is right now. And in the background also with the municipalities, which are responsible for the contracts. If they want to sit in the ringside for a dime, with contracts that taxi companies can hardly drive, the travelers ultimately pay an expensive price for it,” the union concludes.

Strikes annoying The employers also hope that an agreement will soon be reached on a new collective labor agreement for care transport and taxi. “We find it annoying that there will be a strike and that people may suffer from this,” said KNV spokesman Hilbert Michel. “We still believe that we made an excellent offer. That final offer still stands.”

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