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.”
FNV announces new strikes for coach drivers Coaching companies stunned about rejection of collective labor agreement -bid and announced strike FNV director Kressin: ‘Sector is empty’ 768 2022