A huge transport strike across the Netherlands is coming!

A huge transport strike across the Netherlands is coming!

On May 28, a huge 24-hour transport strike will be carried out in the Netherlands. This strike will affect NS trains, along with public transport across the country, as regional transport companies join the strike. Only a few places will have public transport running.

Second chance at a strike

“On March 18, more than 40.000 people went on strike. Apparently, this did not make it clear enough to the Cabinet, as a serious response is yet to be had”, Vice-Chairman of FNV Tuur Elzinga. This strike is partly a do-over, as the last one was aborted due to the horrific attack in Utrecht.

As with the previous strike, this one is also to get the Dutch government to freeze the pension age at 66. Trade union FNV is also calling on employees in sectors such as construction and metal work, amongst others, to strike the following day, May 29, for 24 hours.

Striking for better pensions

Last year, negotiations between the unions, government and employers came to a standstill. Should the current pension regulations be adhered to, employees will only reach pension age in 2024 when they are 67 years and three months old. Whether or not the pension age will increase even more depends on life expectancy.

The Dutch labour unions want the pension age to be frozen at 66 and the fine for stopping earlier than this to be scrapped. They also want further indexation of pensions and for any negative consequences of the move to a new pension system to be covered. Moreover, they wish to make it possible for anyone to be able to build up a pension, freelancers and those with temporary contracts included.

“Our members want to reach pension age in good health! Right now that is almost impossible”, says Wim Eilert from the VVMC. He also raises the issues of aggression and suicide on the tracks, which are just a few of the difficult conditions that employees deal with. “For these employees, the pension age needs to be lowered!”

Leaders of other unions highlight similar points, and all arrive at a similar conclusion, namely that it is almost impossible to carry on to such an old age in these physically and emotionally demanding professions.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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Lisa Buder 19:49 | 23 May 2019

Can someone tell me if the strike will affect the RE trains running from Maastricht to Aachen?

minasolanki 09:14 | 24 May 2019

Hi Lisa, please check with the provider of the service. This strike only applies to Dutch transport companies. Hope this helps!

nathandavidson 09:37 | 31 July 2019

I wonder why there is such a high propensity for people to strike in Europe than there is for other countries. Why do people feel so entitled, or encouraged to fight for their rights in this manner when other people just suck it up? Is it really a different in mentality or is there something in the system that causes people to question what the norm is and force a change to happen?