Disruption expected as NS International workers strike on Wednesday
The next step in an ongoing fight for conductors and train managers at Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) International to receive higher salaries will see workers strike on Wednesday, September 22.
Major strike planned for Amsterdam - Brussels train route
The strike will start at midnight on Tuesday, coming to an end at midnight on Wednesday - this means there will be no Intercity trains running from Amsterdam to Brussels on Wednesday. Typically, trains on this route run 12 times per day. If Belgian conductors also confirm their involvement in Wednesday’s strike, this will mean no Intercity trains will run between the two cities for a full 24 hours.
If you expect your travel plans to be affected by the upcoming strike, check the NS International website for information about your eligibility for compensation. Compensation will only be offered in cases where the ticket was purchased before the strike was announced. No compensation will be offered for delays of less than 60 minutes.
NS International conductors fight for higher salaries
Workers are arguing for a pay increase, noting that their colleagues who manage the Thalys and Eurostar routes, for example, receive higher salaries. Negotiations with NS are ongoing, and employees’ unions have already said that, if no agreement is reached, further action will be taken, which could include seeing more workers from different NS departments go on strike.
According to trade union FNV Spoor, conductors for NS International have a “demanding range of duties” which is not reflected in their paychecks. “The negotiations that started in 2018 were halted because of coronavirus and suddenly NS International comes with a final offer that makes no sense,” says Rob de Groot, chief of rail union VVMC. “NS not only offers considerably less than what we have asked on behalf of our members, but the income differences between the conductor of the Intercity Brussels and their colleagues at Thalys Eurostar and the ICE Berlin & Nightjet are also increasing even further.”