Run on ATMs in run up to New Year's

zAccording to  a poll on dft.nl, 26 percent of the 1,300 participants said that they will withdraw extra money for fear of empty ATM's. Nearly half (48 percent) are remaining calm - they indicated that they already pay almost everything electronically.

Brinks' money transporters have been striking since Saturday. This means that ATM's of several banks, Rabobank in particular, were not replenished after the busy Christmas season. Rabobank announced last night that 415 of their 2,300 ATM's are now empty.

Yesterday Brinks asked the court to ban the strike action in a lawsuit against unions FNV Bondgenoten and CNV Vakmensen. According to the management, the strike causes a high security risk. The ruling is expected this morning at 10:00. According to Rabobank, if the judge decides to allow the strike action, the number of 415 empty ATM's will rise "even faster". Rabobank is hit hardest by the strike.

ATM's are traditionally very busy in the shopping days leading up to New Year's Eve. According to figures from De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), there are a total of 7,615 ATM's available in the Netherlands.

The strike action is a protest against the way that Brinks Nederland wants to reorganize. About 600 of the approximately 1,000 employees will lose their jobs in the reorganization. Brinks' cuts in the workforce are linked to the loss of Rabobank, which is the company's largest client. Rabobank is switching to Geld Service Nederland (GSN) next year. The intent is that a number of Brinks employees will transfer to GSN, a consortium of major banks, or to other providers. To the fury of the unions, little has come of this so far.

The current strike is particularly focused on Rabobank ATM's, and to a lesser extent on those of ABN Amro and SNS Bank. SNS Bank reported yesterday through a spokesperson that about 20 of its 540 ATM's are empty. A spokesperson of ABN Amro stated that 7 of the bank's 1,600 ATM's can no longer be used because of the strike.

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