Dutch trains to stop on April 20 in protest of abuse towards NS staff

Dutch trains to stop on April 20 in protest of abuse towards NS staff

Train drivers in the Netherlands will stop their trains on Saturday night in a protest against the abuse that many staff face when working on public transportation in the Netherlands. Staff at the Dutch train operator NS plan to stage their protest at 10.30pm on April 20. 

Attacks on ticket collectors and train staff becoming more common

The protest comes after an incident earlier in April where a female ticket collector was pushed down a set of stairs, kicked and beaten, as well as a train driver having been attacked, according to the VVMC union. According to the police, a minor has been arrested for their role in the attack on the ticket collector, as part of a group of youngsters that were responsible for causing trouble on a train en route from Delft to Hollands Spoor.

NS also announced earlier in 2024 that its staff are facing more violent attacks onboard trains and in stations, with the figures being 8 percent higher than in 2022. “We are not talking about an exchange of angry words but about threats, spitting and hitting,” an NS spokesman said.

NS wants more government assistance to tackle violence towards staff

Given the ongoing staff shortage at NS, it is understandable that the company is keen to tackle violence against its staff not only to keep its current workforce, but to make sure that those thinking of going to join NS as employees are not put off by the abuse they could face. NS chief executive Wouter Koolmees said he wants security staff to have more powers to access police and national systems in order to check people’s identity as part of new measures to reduce abuse of train staff.

“We are running out of measures we can take. We need help from the government. This can no longer be tolerated,” Koolmees said.

Thumb image credit: Bjorn Keith /

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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