Dutch public transport strike called off
After regional strikes nationwide, leaving few buses running, the Dutch labour unions FNV and CNV and the VWOV union, representing regional transport company employers, have finally come to an agreement. With this agreement, the indefinite strike, which began on Wednesday, June 27, has been called off.
Collective labour agreement reached
After striking on and off since the start of this year, an accord regarding the collective labour agreement, for those working in the public transit sector as members of the FNV and CNV unions, has finally been reached. Initially, the unions wanted a 3,5 percent raise in salary for their members, along with a better pension, toilet breaks every 2,5 hours and work pressure reducing measures to be taken.
The newly negotiated collective labour agreement is valid for 2,5 years and will be put into place retroactively from January 1, 2018; it applies to 12.000 employees. The agreement sees to it that transport staff receive a raise of, on average, 3 percent per year and 7,5 percent in total. Employees will also receive a one-off payment of 650 euros.
In addition to these financial measures, transport staff will also receive extra breaks. A minimum of 82,5 percent of all shifts have a break after 2,5 hours of driving. In other shifts, there is at least one break after 3 hours of driving. Measures will also be taken to decrease work pressure.
The parties FNV and CNV are particularly pleased with the agreement that has been made. Paula Verhoef, FNV negotiator, views the new wage agreement as one of the better ones in the Netherlands, and Hanane Chikhi, CNV negotiator, discloses relief to finally be able to report a positive result.
It is not only the labour unions representing employees that are pleased with the new agreement, the VWOV is also rather delighted with the result, according to the chairman Fred Kagie. The new collective labour agreement will now be presented to union members. Whilst this is being done, no more strikes will take place.