Dutch travellers’ association: Stay home on days of NS train strikes
With Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) workers set to strike from Wednesday, travellers’ organisation Rover has warned members of the public who regularly take the train to stay home on strike days.
Commuters and travellers told to stay home on NS strike days
Last week, Dutch trade unions confirmed NS workers would be staging a walkout after negotiations over salaries and benefits broke down earlier this month. From August 24 through to August 31, workers across the country will be striking, starting in the north of the Netherlands on Wednesday at 4am.
In response to the news, Rover has advised travellers and commuters to “work from home or postpone their trip” if possible. “If you do go on a trip,” the travellers’ association writes, “at least check the travel planner…[and] take into account long travel times and major disruptions.”
Speaking to De Telegraaf, Rover chief Freek Bos emphasised this advice for the entire strike period: “[Wednesday’s strike] concerns personnel north of the Lelystad - Zwolle line. But if, for example, there are trains at a rail yard in Lelystad that should actually run in Brabant, they won’t make it there either. That means that the whole thing can go wrong.”
Full impact of Dutch train strikes remains unknown
The exact extent of the impact of the strike remains unknown, but NS emphasises that travellers will be provided with “the best possible information” throughout the strike. “Keep an eye on the travel planner,” a spokesperson advised.
Both Rover and NS have expressed disappointment in the union’s decision to call a strike. “After the coronavirus pandemic, public transport is having a hard time and this is just another blow. It is in everyone's interest to sit down together and see how train travel can win back passengers.”
If your travel plans are affected by any of the strikes, you might be eligible for compensation. “The NS conditions state that you are entitled to a refund in the event of a delay and compensation of a maximum of 25 euros for other transport in the event of a strike,” Rover writes. “But you must be able to prove that you were actually going to make the journey.”