6-week strike period for Dutch public transport starts today
The chaos for Dutch public transport continues: the Netherlands Trade Union Confederation (FNV) has confirmed an additional 15 days of industrial action for regional public transport workers in the Netherlands, with the six-week strike period kicking off on Tuesday, February 28.
No end in sight for public transport strikes in the Netherlands
Over the past several months, the Netherlands has been plagued by a series of public transport strikes, as unions remain unable to reach an agreement with public transport operators over salaries, work contracts and employee workloads. Last week, regional workers staged walkouts on February 22 and 24, and at the time the FNV and Christian National Trade Union (CNV) made it clear that further action would follow over the course of the coming weeks.
It has since been confirmed that a national six-week strike period will commence on Tuesday, February 28, with a total of 15 days of strikes scheduled to take place between now and April 7. “Employers stubbornly refuse to come to a good collective agreement with a living wage and less work pressure,” FNV's Marijn van der Gaag said in a statement. “They are the only ones who can prevent the strikes, which are very annoying for the passengers.”
The various strikes have left many regular public transport users across the country feeling frustrated, but Van der Gaag emphasises that employers have left unions and workers with no other choice: “Allowing passengers to ride for free, as is often suggested as an alternative, is not a solution. Employers may then withhold wages by a court decision. So that means that although they have less income from ticket sales, they save an even larger amount on labour costs.”
FNV: 15 regional public transport strikes in six weeks
As outlined by the FNV, regional public transport workers in the Netherlands will be staging walkouts on the following days:
- Tuesday, February 28
- Thursday, March 2
- Monday, March 6
- Wednesday, March 8
- Friday, March 10
- Tuesday, March 14
- Wednesday, March 15
- Monday, March 20
- Wednesday, March 22
- Friday, March 24
- Wednesday, March 29
- Thursday, March 30
- Monday, April 3
- Wednesday, April 5
- Friday, April 7
While it is not yet clear exactly how many and which services will be affected by the strikes, up to 13.000 workers employed by operators such as Arriva, Qbuzz, Connexxion and Keolis could be taking part. Passengers have therefore been warned to prepare for delays and cancellations, and have been advised to adjust their travel plans when possible.
The strikes 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: Ronald Wilfred Jansen via Shutterstock.com.