Don't take the train, NS says as strike starts in Northern Netherlands
Employees of the Dutch railway company NS are on strike in the Northern Netherlands on Wednesday. The strike started at 4:00 a.m. and will end at the same time tomorrow. According to NS, the strike means that virtually no NS trains can run all day in the provinces of Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe, and parts of Flevoland and Overijssel.
The railway company advised travelers to, from, and within the region to choose alternative transport or postpone their journey. In the rest of the country, NS expects to be able to run the usual timetable. However, the rail company cannot rule out “unexpected inconvenience” for travelers in the rest of the Netherlands.
The unions hope the relay strikes will force NS to make a better collective bargaining offer. They have been negotiating with the company for some time, but the parties have not come any closer together. The unions issued an ultimatum to force NS to give in to their requirements. NS only said that it wanted to keep talking.
FNV chairman Tuur Elzinga called for solidarity with the striking NS staff. “Of course, it is annoying that travelers are affected. But the NS staff’s struggle is part of a fight against a purchasing power crisis that affects us all. We want to be able to make it to the end of the month and pay our bills and groceries,” said the trade unionist. How many NS workers will lay down their work on Wednesday is unknown.
The next 24-hour relay strike is in the west of the Netherlands on Friday. NS could not yet say what the consequences would be for train traffic and passengers.
Reporting by ANP