Dutch regional transport strike
Should plans from the Dutch labour unions, FNV and CNV, go ahead; regional bus and train drivers throughout the whole of the Netherlands will be on strike for the entire day on Thursday, January 4.
A total of 10.000 employees working for Dutch regional transport providers are members of the FNV and CNV unions.
Failed Dutch union and regional transport negotiations
The strike comes as a result of failed negotiations between the Dutch labour unions and regional transport providers such as Arriva, Connexxion, Qbuzz, Keolis and EBS. According to the unions, the pressure of work for bus drivers is so high that they drive non-stop for four hours and don’t have the chance to stop for a toilet break.
Employees working for regional transport providers want a reduction in work pressure. This would involve giving them more time for bus journeys and also allowing them to hold toilet breaks every two hours. Additionally, drivers call for an increase of 3,5 percent in pay in 2018 and a better pension.
Regional transport providers received an ultimatum regarding these salary and work pressure demands; however, they refused to agree to them. The transport providers still wish to enter into discussions with the unions about the new collective labour agreement.
Areas affected in the Netherlands
Bus drivers working for the transport provider RET will be running bus services in the centre of Rotterdam, but those working in the surrounding municipalities are likely to strike. NS trains will not be affected by the strike.
In The Hague and Amsterdam, the debated collective agreement does not apply to bus drivers and therefore these cities will not be greatly affected. However, services in the rest of the Netherlands will not be so fortunate.
The regional transport providers, Arriva, Connexxion, Qbuzz, Keolis and EBS, are responsible for transport in almost every part of the Netherlands and provide ferry and train services as well as bus services.