NS workers worried new policy will lead to railways' downfall
NS employees are afraid of the company’s continued existence due to proposed policy changes at the railway company. According to the Central Works Council (COR), the intended increase in market forces on the railways and the outsourcing of international trains will not benefit the company’s quality, which causes “maximum uncertainty among the 20,000 employees.”
The staff representative body expressed its concerns in a letter to State Secretary Vivianne Heijnen (Infrastructure), who drew up a preliminary program of requirements (PVE) for the new concession from the beginning of 2025. Trade union FNV and the NS management previously also criticized the plan.
“We fear that the intentions in the PVE will not help to improve the situation on the track, and the excellent performance on the track will not return. We, therefore, urge you to delete the above-mentioned direction from the PVE,” the COR said in its letter.
The employees are critical about the unclear duration of the new concession, among other things. “This creates uncertainty for NS’s personnel and financial situation,” said the COR.
According to them, the railway company must also prepare for the increase in market forces on the railways, which Heijnen intends. “Such as the separation of the Maintenance Company, Customers Service, and Travel Information. The COR believes that this dismantling means that the quality and reliability of the product will decrease for the traveler.”
Opening more regional lines to NS’s competitors will also decrease the quality. “We don’t think it makes much sense to adjust the system if it doesn’t improve its performance.”
Reporting by ANP