Postponed Dutch railway strike could happen in January

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NS managed to prevent a strike by train drivers and conductors that are members of union VVMC planned for today with a lawsuit. The court in Breda banned the strike for the time being because there is a safety risk when crowds of people are stuck together, for example on platforms. From January 6th the union is allowed to arrange a strike, NRC reports.

The court ruled that the risks outweigh the train drivers and conductors' right to strike. Why this risk disappears on January 6 is not quite clear, according to the newspaper. 

"We are surprised by this restriction on the right to strike", VVMC president Wim Eilert said to the newspaper in response to the ruling. "On the track there is often crowds, for example with disruptions on King's Day."

He could not yet say whether the VVMC will arrange a strike for January 6th. "In any case we continue to fight for better work packages."

The drivers and conductors are unhappy because the new timetable, introduced on December 11th, have them traveling the sme short routes too often. They want more variety to their work. According to VVMC, driving the same route over and over makes drivers less alert. 

NS recognizes that the lack of variety is a problem and promised to improve it in the next timetable, which takes effect in April. They are in ongoing talks with unions and employee participants on the mater.