07 April 2023, by Victoria Séveno

After months of disruption to public transport services across the Netherlands, it’s official: trade unions and regional operators have reached an agreement, meaning there will be no more public transport strikes. 

No more public transport strikes in the Netherlands 

Since last autumn, the Netherlands has been plagued by a series of public transport strikes, with unions and employers unable to reach an agreement over salaries, work contracts and employee workloads after the previous collective labour agreement expired on December 31, 2022. 

The most recent round of industrial action – a six-week strike period which kicked off on February 28 and included a total of 15 strike days – was suspended in mid-March so that negotiations between unions and employers could be resumed. 

Now, seven months after the first strikes took place last September, trade unions have announced that a new agreement has finally been negotiated. This means that the strikes are no longer suspended, but are instead definitively over. 

Dutch union says workers should be proud

As part of the new collective labour agreement, workers for regional operators will receive a one-off payment of 1.000 euros, as well as a 15 percent increase in their salaries, implemented gradually over the course of the coming 27 months. 

In addition to wage increases, measures have been taken in order to reduce employee workload, such as additional breaks for workers. Finally, in order to encourage those approaching retirement to continue working, a new “elderly scheme” will be introduced, allowing those in their 60s to work fewer hours while still accruing a pension for full-time work

Trade unions have expressed their satisfaction with the result. “[Our members]  can be proud of what has been achieved,” Marijn van der Gaag, a negotiator for the Netherlands Trade Union Confederation (FNV), said in a statement. “At a time when everything is becoming more expensive, wages have had to rise sharply to keep paying the bills. It is very good that with this agreement that step is now also being taken.”

Thumb: Daniel Doorakkers via Shutterstock.com.

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