PostNL to fight Christmas strike in court

PostNL is going to court to try and ban a Christmas strike announced by trade union FNV. The Dutch postal service believes that a strike in the Christmas period - PostNL's busiest period of the year - will cause disproportionate damage to customers and PostNL itself, AD reports.

Trade unions FNV, BVPP, CNV and VHP2 are currently negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement for the some 18 thousand postal workers in the Netherlands. The negotiations started about a month ago. FNV is dissatisfied with PostNL's attitude and threatened with labor actions around Christmas. FNV is demanding, among other things, a 5 percent wage increase and less workload for the postal workers. But according to the union, PostNL refuses to come up with counter-proposals. 

FNV will announce the date and time of the strike later this week. But PostNL will not wait for this announcement and filed summary proceedings which will be handled by the court in The Hague on Thursday afternoon. According to the postal service, Christmas is by far the busiest period of the year. "We deliver millions of letters, Christmas cards and parcels throughout the Netherlands every day during this period", the company said in a statement. "The preparations for this period started months ago. By taking action right now, FNV deliberately chooses a fontal attack on the interests of the customers, PostNL and the employees it says it represents."

PostNL also pointed out that the other unions are not participating in the strike and that FNV was at the negotiations on Wednesday and Thursday as usual. "We think that FNV's ambivalent attitude is very remarkable", a PostNL spokesperson said to the newspaper.