Arriva coach drivers went on strike at the Van der Valk Schiphol Hotel at the end of last month for a better collective labor agreement.Photo: ProMedia/Olivier Smits

Several coach drivers have decided to join the regional transport strikes. FNV reports this. According to the union, the coach drivers joined their colleagues in regional transport to reinforce their demands for a new Collective Labor Agreement for Private Bus Transport.

Many coach drivers drive buses that are used in regional transport. Just like in regional transport, according to FNV, the workload and absenteeism among coach drivers are sky-high and it is difficult for the drivers to make ends meet on their salary. “The offer employers made last September is much lower than inflation. Then the drivers will suffer even more,” says Lutz Kressin, director of FNV Toer, about this.

Respect and appreciation The drivers meet in Utrecht on Thursday and in Rotterdam on Friday. “They are going to make it clear to employers that this cannot continue if they want to keep the sector afloat. Respect for the coach driver and appreciation for the work is in order. In addition to a decent wage increase, you have to pay every hour,” says Kressin.

The employers made a second collective bargaining offer in September last year, after the first offer for the summer had already been rejected. The FNV members in the sector want wages to rise in line with the prices in the shops, which amounts to a wage increase of more than 01 per cent. The employers bid for 2022 one time 2022 euro, 7 percent for 2022 and 3 percent for 2024 . Furthermore, the drivers want from 2022 all services 100 percent are paid and a working day of no more than twelve hours.

Agreement on new collective labor agreement On 12 December, CNV Vakmensen and Bustransport Nederland (BVN) reached an agreement about a new Collective Labor Agreement for Private Bus Transport. A majority of the CNV members agreed with the employers’ final offer during the last round of voting, which means that the new collective labor agreement, with the associated wage increase, has taken effect on 1 January.

The new collective labor agreement has now been submitted to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) to be declared generally binding. “We hope to get a stamp from the ministry as soon as possible”, said CNV negotiator Fadua Toufik there previous week left. “In that case, the collective labor agreement applies to all companies in the coach sector and not only to companies that are affiliated with BVN.”

“Strike pointless” Employers in the coach sector find the announced FNV strike pointless, now that a legally valid collective labor agreement is on the table. “Wage increases of 7 and 4 percent and the abolition of the five-sixth scheme are central to the collective labor agreement,” said BVN. “Unfortunately, the trade union FNV sidelined itself due to unrealistic demands, just as FNV previously did with the collective labor agreements for healthcare and taxi transport, among other things. The employers therefore denounce the for 12 and 20 strikes announced in January that will also affect coach transport in addition to regional transport. Employers would much rather see FNV join the next collective labor agreement consultations.”

Private bus transport, in contrast to FNV, is satisfied with the new collective labor agreement. “We have gone very far for this collective labor agreement,” says BVN chairman Bertho Eckhardt. “The one-off payment will help the drivers who saw high inflation in 2022. The agreed wage increase of 7 percent as of 1 January 2022 and 4 percent as of 1 January 2024 ranks among one of the largest wage increases nationwide this year.”

According to Eckhardt, the coach industry has suffered enormously from the consequences of corona. According to the BVN chairman, it is also not yet clear how the market will develop, with all the uncertainties caused by the war in Ukraine. “As employers, we really wanted to achieve a pay increase, as a token of appreciation and because employees have to deal with significantly increased costs. This agreement allows employees to benefit from the wage increase in January 2022. At the same time, I do not understand why FNV continues to strike. We have met many of the requirements of FNV. Nevertheless, I would very much like to see FNV return to the consultation table for the next collective labor agreement period,” concludes Eckhardt.

Read also:

New collective bargaining agreement for the coach sector reported to the ministry: ‘Hope to get a stamp as soon as possible’ Reaching CNV and BVN agreement on new Collective Labor Agreement Private Bus Transport 2022

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