20 February 2023, by Victoria Séveno
The Christian National Trade Union (CNV) and the Netherlands Trade Union Confederation (FNV) have announced that regional public transport workers in the Netherlands will strike again on Wednesday and Friday, with this week’s strikes marking the beginning of a new phase of industrial action for public transport.
Unions fail to reach agreement with Dutch public transport operators
Over the past several months, regional public transport workers have staged various walk-outs on both local and national levels, as Dutch trade unions remain unable to reach an agreement with public transport operators over salaries, work contracts and employee workloads.
Following the most recent strikes, the FNV and CNV said employers had until February 20 to settle on a new collective labour agreement. Otherwise, further industrial action would follow from February 22. “No one wants [this], certainly not the drivers. Yet they stand their ground, because they want a collective labour agreement that will make ends meet and that will reduce the workload,” FNV’s Marijn van der Gaag said in a statement.
With FNV reporting that the strikes at the beginning of February haven’t achieved the desired results, more strikes have now been announced. “The limit has been reached for people in regional transport,” Van der Gaag explained. “If nothing changes, it will be very bad for the future of public transport.”
Regional public transport in the Netherlands to strike this week
Employees of regional public transport operators across the Netherlands will be downing tools on Wednesday, February 22 and Friday, February 24. NOS reports that further action will follow over the coming weeks: “The unions warn that [this week’s] strikes will be the start of a new series of strikes, which will be announced at least 48 hours in advance, according to CNV.”
Up to 13.000 workers employed by operators such as Arriva, Qbuzz, Connexxion and Keolis, could be taking part in this week’s strikes, but it’s not yet clear exactly how many and which public transport services will be affected. Passengers have been warned to prepare for delays and cancellations, and have been advised to adjust their travel plans when possible.
Once again, the strike won’t affect Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) rail services, or the majority of city-wide operators, for example, the GVB in Amsterdam, RET in Rotterdam and HTM in The Hague. This is due to the fact that workers at these companies fall under different labour agreements.
Thumb: Grundsteins via Shutterstock.com.
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