Expect train delays this week as workers strike across the Netherlands
EDIT: ProRail and the FNV Spoor union have reached an agreement concerning a new collective labour agreement. All strikes planned for the coming days have been cancelled.
The Dutch Railways (NS) has warned the public about a number of expected delays to train services over the coming days, as workers at rail operator ProRail go on strike to demand a new collective labour agreement.
Train delays expected across the Netherlands
The strike is expected to last until Saturday, May 1. Wednesday morning saw services around Utrecht, Amsterdam, and Alkmaar halted. Strikes have also been planned in The Hague, Rotterdam, Dordrecht, and Roosendaal on Thursday morning, and in Groningen, Zwolle, Eindhoven, Maastricht, and Arnhem on Friday morning.
On Saturday, workers have planned a 24-hour campaign across the Netherlands that will start at 5 am - this could mean that no trains will run at all throughout the day. NS have said they are working to offer alternative services in order to limit disruptions as much as possible. However, they do ask the public to consult their online journey planner before departure.
ProRail has warned the public that the strike could have a major effect on national rail services: “The Dutch railway is so intertwined that actions at a single traffic control post can already have a major impact on the whole country,” explained a spokesperson.
Irresponsible to go on strike during coronavirus pandemic?
The workers going on strike are members of the FNV Spoor union. They are calling for changes to be made to the terms of their collective labour agreement, the agreed wage percentage increase, and the scheme for early retirement.
A number of people have spoken out and criticised the timing of the strike, stating that trains are already overcrowded and rail operators are running reduced services thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Healthcare workers are also concerned about how they will be able to get to work.