Garbage collectors back to work after strike

Garbage strike 2014 no.2
Waste piling up on Warmoesstraat, in Amsterdam Centrum, just two days into a garbage strike (Zack Newmark / NL Times). Waste piling up on Warmoesstraat, in Amsterdam Centrum, just two days into a garbage strike (Zack Newmark / NL Times)

After a three day strike, garbage collectors of the municipal services are back to work today in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Groningen. The workers have not been collecting trash in these three big cities since Monday, in protest of stalled collective labour agreement talks. 

In the next few days, these municipalities will put more workers into action to clear up the excess garbage that has been . Part-time workers are also being called in for this.

Despite the excess garbage on the streets, the strike has not inconvenienced anyone too much. The mild weather has not caused an odor issue, and many people were actually understanding of the garbage collectors' plight.

For one year already, the workers have tried negotiating with the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) for, including a pay rise of 2.5 percent in 2013 and 3 percent in 2014.

On Wednesday, around 2500 municipal civil servants came together in Hendrik-ido-Ambacht, where they protested for their demands.

Labour union Abvakabo FNV said that the strikes would continue longer than the three days announced if the parties did not strike an agreement.

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