Public transit strike postponed to Wednesday

A Qbuzz bus on the Grote Markt in Groningen (Photo: Alfenaar/Wikimedia Commons)A Qbuzz bus on the Grote Markt in Groningen (Photo: Alfenaar/Wikimedia Commons)

A nationwide strike in regional public transit previously announced to start on Monday, has been postponed until Wednesday, June 27th. This is to give mediators more time to come to a solution in the deadlocked collective bargaining agreement talks between unions and employers, union CNV said, AD reports.

The strike was announced by unions FNV and CNV. CNV spoke of "a (for the time being) three-day strike", while FNV said the strike will last indefinitely. 

"Should there be a decent result from the mediators by Tuesday 26 June at the end of the day by latest, black on white, the buses will continue to run. If there is no result, there will be a strike from Wednesday 27 June", FNV said on Thursday. CNV said that the union realizes a public transit strike will have major consequences on travelers. "If we can prevent that together, we will sign for it. But then we really need the cooperation of the employers", a spokesperson said to the newspaper.

Some 12 thousand people work in regional public transit. For them the unions want a 3.5 percent wage increase, a lighter work load, and a break every 2.5 hours - so that public transit workers have time to go to the bathroom. Employers' organization VWOV previously promised to make breaks possible, but negotiations on the other demands stalled. 

The VWOV is not pleased with the unions' actions, both the strike itself and the postponement. "Our travelers, just like us, do not know where they stand", the organization said. According to the VWOV, they've already given employees a lot. The employers offered a 2.75 percent wage increase, breaks and to do something about the workload. 

VWOV represents Arriva, Connexxion, EBS, Keolis Nederland and Qbuzz.