An ambulance transporting a patient tries to exit Amsterdam's Vondelpark on King's Day. April 27, 2015. (photo: Zack Newmark / NL Times) An ambulance transporting a patient tries to exit Amsterdam's Vondelpark on King's Day. April 27, 2015. (photo: Zack Newmark / NL Times)
Ambulance crews first-ever nationwide strike comes to an end
For the first time in history ambulance staff across the nation embarked on a simultaneous strike action after wage negotiations stalled with employer Ambulancezorg Netherlands (AZN). Employees participating in the mass strike action only responded to emergency situations, while scheduled patient transport was be put on hold. The strike was scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. on Wednesday. Workers called for a 2.5-percent pay increase, increased training provisions and the elimination of night shift scheduling for employees over 55 years. Talks between the two sides have dragged on for over a year. Labour union CNV have been locked in the collective bargaining talks with AZN during that time, which prompted rolling strikes throughout the Netherlands since May. Calls for an independent mediator seemed to be the only thing the two sides agreed on Wednesday. “The deployment of a [mediator] is a step in the right direction to get the collective bargaining moving forward again” AZN President Hans Simons told RTL Nieuws. A CNV representative made similar statement to NOS, saying a mediator is the only chance of removing the deadlock and working towards an agreement.