Olivier Smits


Ambulance. Photo for illustration.Photo: iStock / Ignatiev

A boy of 14 years died in an accident with a taxi in the night from Saturday to Sunday in Volendam. The boy, from the North Holland village, drove around .311474 hours on the bike on the Heideweg when he was hit by the car, a police spokesperson reports. The boy was taken to hospital with head injuries, where he died on Sunday.

The driver of the taxi, a 27-year-old Amsterdammer, was killed that same night. detained. Blood has been taken from him and he will be interrogated. The police are investigating exactly how the accident could have happened.

Statements of support According to NH News Volendam is in mourning because of the collision. There are dozens of messages of support on Facebook for the boy’s relatives, relatives, friends and girlfriends, according to the local news site.

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If a taxi driver in Germany, for example, is in an emergency during a ride, he can press the silent alarm, after which his roof light lights up red. Bystanders can recognize from this that a threatening situation has arisen for the driver within the car. Harold Agterberg, director of the Utrechtse Taxi Centrale (UTC), does not think that such a system also works in the Netherlands.

According to the Algemeen Dagblad the lighting in roof lights of taxis, as in Germany, has different functions. When the skylight is on, the taxi is free, when it is off, there is already a passenger in the car. But when the roof light shows a red light, there is danger for the driver inside the taxi.

According to the newspaper, the red light only lights up if the taxi driver has switched on the ‘silent alarm’. The red flashing roof light is a sign to bystanders that the driver is in danger. Think of situations where the driver is attacked or held hostage. “At the same time, an alarm code is also sent to the taxi center,” the newspaper writes.

Emergency button Harold Agterberg, director of the Utrechtse Taxi Centrale (UTC), does not think such a system will work in the Netherlands. “There are many taxi companies that just have a button on the driver’s side,” he explains. “Drivers can press that button with their leg or foot, which sends a signal to the control center.”

In addition, Agterberg does not think that involving bystanders will have any effect . “I wonder if the social level in our society is so high that they react immediately to a red skylight. Nowadays, if a car alarm or a burglar siren goes off somewhere, most people just keep walking. In addition, bystanders must also know what such a red flashing roof light means. Then rather a button with a connection to the control center, where you know for sure that action will actually be taken.”

Fewer incidents Finally, the UTC director notes that there are far fewer incidents today than in the past. “Taxi drivers never actually carry cash in their pockets,” Agterberg explains. “All payments now go through the account. Fortunately, committing a robbery no longer pays.”

“In addition, with the current techniques that are available today, you can quickly establish a lot of things. Deviating behaviour, such as a car that is not driving when it should be at that moment, is striking. Nowadays everyone owns a mobile phone. This allows taxi drivers to quickly warn the police or the control center if something is wrong,” concludes Agterberg.

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Coach drivers are on strike at Van der Valk Hotel Schiphol for a better Collective Labor Agreement for Private Bus Transport.Photo: ProMedia/Olivier Smits

Arriva Touring drivers, who provide passenger journeys between the terminal and aircraft at Schiphol, have ceased their work on Wednesday. About fifteen drivers went on strike because they want a better Collective Labor Agreement for Private Bus Transport. “They want an offer that shows they are valued.”

It is 11.27 hours when the bus full of striking coach drivers arrives at Van der Valk Hotel Schiphol. This hotel is the setting where Arriva Touring drivers, who normally transport passengers from the terminal to the planes, go on strike. “During the safety consultations, Schiphol attached great importance to the fact that we would not strike at the airport itself,” explains FNV director Lutz Kressin, who is leading the strike, explaining the choice for this location. “We eventually gave in to that.”

The demonstrators arrive at Van der Valk Hotel Schiphol. The coach drivers stopped their work yesterday because they want a better Collective Labor Agreement for Private Bus Transport. The drivers who have come to the hotel to leave their work are almost all employed by Arriva. “The work pressure there is incredibly high,” the FNV director further explains. “People often complain about the schedules, the small contracts and the oversized flexibility. You have to be available almost all the time and the working relations are not too good either.”

On 26 October, coach drivers already met at Ede-Wageningen train station to strike . The drivers who were present yesterday could not participate in that action, even though they fall under the same collective labor agreement. “This is actually a delayed action,” explains Kressin.

There is too little staff and too little payment

Less than a number One of the drivers present says he is here because he wants better working conditions. He also says he sometimes feels undervalued. “There is too little staff and too little payment,” he explains. And the friendly driver also cracks a critical note about the interaction on the work floor. For example, he admits to feeling denigrated on a regular basis. “You are actually less than a number at Arriva.”

Another driver, who is also present at this strike, has a different opinion about his employer. “I think Arriva is a very good employer. If I have a problem, all I have to do is go to the office and it will be taken care of. I am also here because of the collective labor agreement, not because I am against Arriva.”

He thinks it is important that clear agreements are included in the collective labor agreement. “We have had an unclear collective labor agreement for years,” he says. “You can interpret our collective labor agreement in different ways. There are always hooks and eyes. As a result, it always remains a bit cowboy-like.”

FNV director Lutz Kressin addresses the present drivers. Transfer to public transport According to the drivers, many drivers decide to leave the sector and switch to public transport due to the high workload and the working conditions. “A colleague of mine made that switch,” says one of the demonstrators. “He has more free time, more days off, more vacation days and has 768 euros per month to spend more. I think that’s quite a bit. The difference is just too big.”

Yet the driver is not thinking of turning his back on the sector. “Schiphol is a nice place to work,” he says. “In addition, in public transport you are really just chasing your time. We don’t have that at Schiphol. And colleagues also play an important role in this. I have a close relationship with many colleagues. We also meet several times a year.”

New strikes The unions and employers have been negotiating a new Collective Labor Agreement for Private Bus Transport for months. There is still no breakthrough. Nevertheless, Kressin hopes to hear from the employers before the end of this year. “Of course it is up to them, but we have a good feeling about it. That’s because many employers call us. They also think it is time for a good collective labor agreement.”

I think that employers also realize that they have to come up with a good offer

“The drivers want that too. They want an offer that shows that they are valued. In addition, many buses are currently standing still, because there are not enough drivers available. I think that the employers also realize that they have to come up with a good offer.”

Breakthrough If the employers do not come up with a collective bargaining offer that the unions and drivers can live with, new strikes threaten in mid-December. “We will continue to campaign until we have a collective labor agreement that our members are satisfied with,” Kressin concludes.

“It is very difficult, but I hope that the employers will eventually comply,” adds one of the demonstrators. “I hope there will be another breakthrough this year”, concludes the driver.

Arriva recognizes the sounds When asked, Arriva has stated that it recognizes the sounds that emerge in this article. “These are sounds that are also made in other professional groups about the collective labor agreements and are therefore recognizable”, says a spokesperson.

Finally, Arriva has already introduced a number of the measures, such as those for a new collective labor agreement. “It is therefore not necessary, we think, to start a strike. But everyone has the right to strike. This strike is more about the collective labor agreement than about employee satisfaction with Arriva as an employer.”

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Company bus ends up on the side when it collides with a taxi bus.Photo: News United/03 Achterhoek news

A taxi bus collided with a company bus at the intersection of Lichtenberg with Oude Dinxperloseweg on Wednesday afternoon. One of the vehicles ended up on its side. No one was hurt.

The company bus wanted to drive onto the Oude Dinxperloseweg from Lichtenberg and overlooked the taxi bus on the Oude Dinxperloseweg, causing a collision. Due to the impact, the company bus came to a stop on the side.

Both drivers were checked by ambulance personnel. Ultimately, no one had to go to the hospital. The intersection was closed to traffic in both directions after the accident. A recovery company had to tow the two company buses.

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Taxi driver Arnold, who provides taxi rides as an independent driver for mobility platform Bolt, can use a hydrogen taxi free of charge for a year. He is the winner of the Drivers League, a giveaway created by Bolt in which taxi drivers can win a hydrogen lease car for twelve months.

The Bolt driver says he is very happy with his prize. “When I got a call from Bolt, I immediately knew: ‘I won the hydrogen car’. We immediately went out for dinner with the whole family. I’ve had a lot of setbacks in the past year and I really hoped to experience something positive. When I heard this I was very relieved and above all very happy that I had won.”

Emission-free driving Arnold drives so for the coming year for free in a Toyota Mirai. According to Bolt, he can put his Skoda Fabia aside for at least a year, saving almost 3.000 kilos of CO2. According to the European taxi platform, that is also one of the main reasons why the Drivers League was created. The action was created in collaboration with Shell, Leaseplan and Toyota and is just one of the actions Bolt is taking to promote zero-emission driving. )Two birds with one stone According to Bolt, the company killed two birds with one stone with the Drivers League: this competition gave drivers an impulse to switch to emission-free transport and, according to the taxi platform extra encouraged to drive rides. From 09, Bolt says he wants to drive completely emission-free in all major Dutch cities.

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The association for students in special education is “deeply, deeply, deeply disappointed” about the possible new strikes in care and student transport. FNV drivers will probably stop working again next Wednesday. This makes it difficult for the students to be taken from home to school and back.

and yet again the victim” of the strike, “and this time it looks like even nationwide”. Pupils with, for example, autism, ADHD or Down’s syndrome can attend special education. They need a lot of structure in their day. “Our students don’t have a moment’s rest, because their transport is still so lousy and the damage is already so great,” says LBVSO.

Call to accept demands The interest group says it supports the drivers and calls on employers to accept their demands. The LBVSO does ask drivers to let the children and their parents know well in advance whether they are participating in the strike. In principle, they only have to let us know at the start of their shift, so not until next Wednesday. “That is much too late for our children.”

Failed negotiations Drivers who work in the care and student transport went on strike in four provinces last week. New actions were then suspended because employers and unions started talking to each other on Monday. However, the trade union FNV says that the negotiations have failed and that the new offer from the employers is worse than what was on the table.

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The collective bargaining about a new collective labor agreement for care transport and taxi, which was resumed yesterday after a national strike on Friday, failed. That is what FNV says. Members of the trade union in the sector have subsequently decided to continue the strike. Next Wednesday (29 November) there will be 24 hours on strike.

“In this sector, with many vulnerable passengers, we choose to announce the strike well in time. Then everyone has enough time to prepare for it,” says FNV director Meindert Gorter. According to him, the drivers prefer not to strike. “But the fact that they do it anyway says something about the necessity.”

Strike at three largest taxi companies According to FNV there will in any case be a strike at the three largest taxi companies next Wednesday, namely Connexxion, Munckhof and Noot. According to the union, other companies from all over the country will also be added. “We hope that employers will take the opportunity to come up with an improvement on continued payment in the event of illness and with better checks on the wage calculation before Wednesday,” said Gorter.

Last Friday the first strikes in care and student transport took place. After those strikes, the employers invited the unions to discuss the new collective agreement again. “We responded with hope,” explains Meindert Gorter. “Yesterday, however, was very disappointing. In fact, the new offer only got worse. While the requirements of the drivers are quite normal. They want a wage that allows them to pay groceries and bills, controllable schedules and working hours and they want to be paid 100 percent when they are sick and no more waiting days .”

CNV is currently not taking any action The other trade union, CNV Vakmensen, has a different opinion on this theme. They talk about an ‘improved final offer’. “It concerns important improvements, such as higher wages, better arrangements for illness and a fairer break arrangement,” says CNV negotiator Rick Pellis. “By shortening the term of the collective labor agreement to one and a half years, the wage increase for employees now actually works out better,” according to the union.

“In addition, the first sick report of the year the waiting day will now expire. This has been an important point for our members, because it creates the wrong incentive,” explains Pellis further. “People now continue to work while they are sick, otherwise they will miss out on salary. We are glad that at least that first waiting day will disappear.”

That is why CNV has decided to suspend any actions for the time being. According to the union, the members are now the first to act. “We are now going to present this new final offer to our members. Until then, we will in any case not organize any actions.” CNV members have until 29 November to vote.

Employers’ organization KNV Care Transport and Taxi has informed ANP that it does not want to respond to the announcement of FNV.

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A woman in a wheelchair is picked up by a taxi. Photo for illustration.Photo: ANP/ ROB ENGELAAR

The employers in healthcare and taxi transport (united in KNV Zorgtransport and Taxi) said they made an ultimate attempt yesterday to arrive at a new collective labor agreement. The employers therefore submitted an improved final offer for a collective labor agreement. The final offer has a term of eighteen months. The collective labor agreement must take effect on 1 January 2024 and will last until 18 June 2024.

The employers have again offered a wage increase of 8 percent on 1 January 2023 and another 4 percent on 1 January 2024. In addition, compared to the previous final offer, the employers propose changes with regard to breaks and continued payment in the event of illness.

Change the current break scheme The employers want to change the current break scheme so that only unpaid breaks may be withheld if they have actually been taken. In the current scheme, a maximum of 11, 5 percent of the working time may be withheld at a fixed rate. In addition, in the new proposal, in case of illness, the first eight weeks 30 percent of the salary will be paid and then 80 percent, up to and including the second year of illness. The waiting day also lapses with the first sick report.

In addition, the employers are abandoning their wish to return to the old salaried time scheme. The employers do, however, propose to amend the current scheme to make it more applicable in practice. “In the employers’ proposal, the length of the shift can now vary per day, which is more in line with transport demand,” the employers write. “At the same time, the proposal makes it possible for drivers to better connect private and work.” The employers also propose not to apply the commuting deduction if drivers have to use a charging station that is far from their own home.

Too large technical challenges Finally, in the new bid, the employers propose to cancel the proposed online registration of services, due to the technical challenges that are too great. “Of course, time registration remains mandatory, as is the obligation to offer opportunities to the Social Fund for Mobility to check this registration,” concludes Royal Dutch Transport (KNV).

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Coach drivers from Arriva Touring, who provide passenger journeys between the terminal and aircraft at Schiphol, will stop working on Wednesday. FNV reports this. According to the union, they do this because they want a better Collective Labor Agreement for Private Bus Transport.

The drivers want, among other things, a wage increase of 100 euros gross per month and that wages will henceforth rise in line with the prices in the shops. Furthermore, they want all services to be paid 100 percent. “Now there are six-hour shifts, but the drivers only get paid for five,” says Lutz Kressin, director of FNV Toer. “That is really out of date.” Furthermore, the drivers want a working day of no more than twelve hours and that the contract hours be adjusted in case of structural overtime.

High work pressure According to FNV, about three thousand people work in the coach sector, but the work pressure is high due to the large staff shortage. According to the union, the only solution is a fair and attractive collective labor agreement. “Then it will be interesting again for new drivers to come and work in the sector and for existing drivers to stay,” says Kressin.

According to FNV, the action is in line with previous actions in the sector , including a nationwide strike in Ede last month. According to Kressin, about a hundred coach drivers took part in the strike at the time. The drivers went on strike on Wednesday 10. and 15.00 hours.

“Excellent” final offer The employers, united in Bus transport Netherlands ( BVN), have indicated that they will maintain their earlier position. They are still surprised that the unions rejected the latest collective bargaining offer. In addition, the employers speak of an ‘excellent’ final offer. “We go further with the offer than other collective agreements that are now being concluded in other sectors and we offer more than core inflation”, said BVN chairman Bertho Eckhardt about that at the time.

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Breaked up tank in Ukraine. Photo: Ton Schellings

Few people dare to travel to a war zone of their own accord to help people in need. Ton Schellings, owner of the De Avonturier coach company, clearly belongs to the select group who do dare to do so. On Sunday 27 November he leaves for Ukraine to bring stoves there, handing out food parcels and evacuating people. However, he does not do this near the border areas, but all the way to Kiev.

“I’m going to Kiev to bring a few hundred stoves there,” says Schellings. “The counter is currently at two hundred, but I hope to eventually deliver more than three hundred heaters. Winter is coming, of course, so it will be very cold. In addition, the entire electricity grid was down there. That’s why I’m bringing as many stoves there as possible this time. I also hope to have enough budget left to buy groceries for the people there. Finally, I will also transport a number of Ukrainians to the Netherlands”, the coach operator explains his intentions.

Bunk beds However, this is not the first time for Schellings to travel to the Ukrainian capital. He already did that in May of this year. “Then I brought bunk beds for about forty people. In addition, we were also able to do a lot of shopping. We made food packages out of that and then distributed them. Finally, I also had 27 people, a dog, a cat and a hamster back to the Netherlands. It was a successful move. Hopefully this time will be as successful as last time.”

That something could happen to me there, I am aware of

During that trip, Ton Schellings was confronted for the first time with the devastation that the Russian army has wrought in Ukraine. “We have seen the consequences of this war. Just before you actually drive into Kiev, you see the first things that are broken. Broken tanks, for example. They’re right there on the highway. Then I slalom through it. In other cities, such as Boucha, the situation is even worse. There you see the devastation of this war. Apartment buildings and sometimes even entire neighborhoods are broken there.”

Coach driver Ton Schellings has seen the consequences of the war with his own eyes. Gimeg That is why Ton Schellings has a mission: to help the people in Ukraine again. However, he is not alone. For example, the enthusiastic coach operator has signed a deal with Gimeg, a manufacturer specializing in accessories for camping, caravans and atmospheric heating. “For a hundred euros we can offer a family a warm home,” he says. In addition, Schellings also collects money itself to buy groceries for the Ukrainians.

The first step, according to Schellings, is to fill the bus as much as possible with heaters. On Sunday 27 November he gets into his coach, with Kiev as his destination final destination. When asked how many people he expects to bring back to the Netherlands this time, he replies: “About thirty. But those are daily rates, because if two more missiles fall on Kiev, the bus will be full again in one fell swoop.”

Coaching company The Adventurer in Ukraine. Bosnia So Ton Schellings travels of his own free will to a war zone to help people in need. Although the coach operator has been in the business for a number of years, war zones are no unknown territory for him. “For example, I was a UN soldier in Bosnia. That was of course a while ago, but I have also experienced the necessary misery there. At the time I was with a battalion that did nothing but deliver stoves, tents and food. I also traveled to Africa twice by bus. Once in Gambia and once in Sierra Leone.”

Look, you can’t go either. But if everyone thought that way, those people over there would have it even harder

He therefore knows from experience that actions such as these are not for everyone. “You have to be able to properly assess certain situations and also be able to manage yourself through something. You have to be able to get things done, even if you don’t speak the language. And you also have to be able to do something technically. If you go there as a driver and you have never changed a tire, then you simply have no business there. Then you can call the ANWB, but don’t count on them coming to your aid there,” says Schellings laughing.

Safety Although the coach operator is motivated to bring his initiative to a successful conclusion, Schellings realizes that his own safety may be at stake. “I am aware that something could happen to me there. All certainties disappear when you enter a war zone. That’s just how it is. The other side of the coin is that I can really do something for the people there, offer direct help. That is also the reason why I am working on this trip with an organization that has contacts with the local Red Cross in the Ukraine.”

“My family, I have a wife and three children, are doubled,” Schellings continues. “On the one hand, they are of course concerned about whether everything is going well, but on the other hand, they also understand that I want to go there in this way. Precisely because they know that you can mean so much there. Of course it is not without worries, but we try to limit the risks in as many ways as possible. Look, you can’t go either. But if everyone thought that way, it would be even harder for those people there.”

People who want to support this campaign can transfer a contribution to NL19ABNA0496368133 tnv T. Schellings.

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