Regional transport will strike for five days from February 6
Regional public transportation workers will again go on strike across the Netherlands starting next Monday, with labor actions planned for five consecutive days. The strike was announced by the CNV labor union after employers did not respond to their ultimatum.
The strike is being organized because of a breakdown in negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement that covers 13,000 employees, mainly bus drivers. An earlier strike by the FNV labor union with limited support from other unions caused about 40 percent of public transportation to be canceled in various regions.
When the CNV presented their ultimatum, the organization of public transportation services, VWOV, replied saying that their current proposal offer will lapse if and when the unions went on strike. This means that all parties will have to go back to the table to start the collective bargaining talks from scratch.
A spokesperson for CNV said further talks regarding the latest proposal would not be productive, as the VWOV did not make any new concessions. Exploratory talks were “out of the question” because of this, he said. The unions will, therefore, not respond to VWOV’s counter-ultimatum and will prepare their strikes this week.
“We do not think it’s likely that employers will still want to talk. That’s why we’re now looking at how we’re going to structure our actions with colleagues from FNV.”
“Our collective labor agreement proposal is above average,” said VWOV chair Fred Kagie last week. “This is the limit of what is feasible. We emphatically ask unions not to run away from this, but to allow our employees to take these steps and to aim for calm in our industry, and security for travelers,” said Kagie.