Strikes: No NS trains nationwide; No regional transport in north
Today will be a difficult day for public transport users in the Netherlands. A strike among NS workers means virtually no NS trains are running nationwide. Only Schiphol is reachable by NS train. And regional public transport workers are striking in Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe, and Overijssel.
Trade unions FNV, CNV, and VVMC organized regional actions among NS workers in the west and northwest of the country today to reinforce their demands for a new collective bargaining agreement. NS decided not to run trains throughout the country to prevent chaos on the platforms. According to NS, the strike areas are larger this time. It is, therefore, nearly impossible to set up a reliable timetable with trains that cross the entire country.
“We only know for sure whether a conductor and driver will run a train shortly before it leaves. Then travelers are already waiting on the platform. We want to offer a predictable and reliable journey. This prevents full platforms, which creates unsafe situations, or travelers getting stranded.” the company said on its website.
The train stations in the Netherlands were quiet on Friday morning. It seems that people are well informed that a strike is happening, a spokesperson for NS said. “There are only a few travelers to be found.”
There are some travelers at Utrecht Central and Schiphol, said the NS spokesperson. Trains run between Schiphol and Utrecht Central Station via Amsterdam Zuid to keep the airport accessible. “If tourists arrive and know nothing about the strikes, they can at least go to Amsterdam Zuid or Utrecht Central,” said the spokesperson.
Employees of regional public transport are striking in Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe, and Overijssel today. It is the last relay strike for a better collective bargaining agreement in the run-up to a nationwide strike on September 16.
Carrier Arriva warned travelers in Friesland and Groningen to expect disruption and cancelations on the bus timetable. The regional train is expected to run as usual. Arriva does not expect much nuisance for buses and trains in Overijssel.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times