Dutch union calls for wage increase of 14,3 percent, employers say it’s unrealistic

Dutch union calls for wage increase of 14,3 percent, employers say it’s unrealistic

In response to the high inflation rate and the soaring cost of living, the Netherlands Trade Union Confederation (FNV) has called for employers to raise the salaries of their workers by 14,3 percent in 2023 in order to make up for the diminishing purchasing power of Dutch citizens and residents. Employers, however, have argued that such a significant increase is unrealistic. 

FNV to push for 14,3 percent increase for salaries in the Netherlands

While inflation in the Netherlands has fallen slightly since September, prices for food, energy, fuel and clothing remain high. In spite of the various measures the Dutch government has announced to boost purchasing power, Dutch trade unions continue to fight for higher wages for workers. 

Taking the latest inflation figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) into account, this week the FNV set its wage requirement for the new year at 14,3 percent, arguing that “the inflation rate for October is the percentage by which wages should be increased in the coming year.” 

While salaries arranged as part of collective labour agreements have seen significant increases over the past several months, the FNV believes more has to be done. “People are working harder, and prices have increased massively,” says FNV Vice-President Zakira Boufangacha. “Profits have also increased in the past 1,5 years. As a country, we have become a bit richer since last year. Our members should see a fair share of that.”

AWVN: Raising salaries in line with inflation is not realistic

While many people with jobs in the Netherlands would likely support the FNV’s call for significantly higher wages, employers were quick to express their dissatisfaction with the demand. "It is not realistic. Many companies cannot afford that at all,” a spokesperson for the employers’ association AWVN told NU. According to the employers' association, salaries in the Netherlands have increased by an average of  3,2 percent this year - high, but not enough to keep up with inflation. 

“[These figures] mean that negotiators of both parties at the collective labour agreement tables are realistic. The high inflation is not the fault of the cabinet, employers or trade unions,” the spokesperson explained, adding that current uncertainties about the future of the Dutch economy “make companies reluctant, especially now that a possible recession is on the way.”

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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