Public transport strike: No trains running in Friesland, part of Groningen
Some train staff in the east and north of the country are on strike on Thursday. As a result, no trains are running in Friesland and parts of Groningen, reported public transport company Arriva. Train traffic is also at a standstill on the Vechtdal lines: Zwolle-Emmen and Almelo-Marienberg.
Arriva employees who work from Leeuwarden, Emmen, Marienberg, and Zwolle are not working, trade union VVMC previously reported. Arriva said that it tried to make a suitable timetable with the employees who have not joined the strike, but that proved impossible on the Vechtdal lines, in Friesland, and for the trains that run between Groningen and Leeuwarden, Groningen and Roodeschool, and Groningen and Delft. The trains between Groningen and Veendam, Groningen and Windschoten, and Groningen and Weener are running.
According to the union, the labor action only directly affects Arriva’s regional train transport in the east and north of the Netherlands, but the strike may also indirectly touch other transport in these regions.
The employees striking on Thursday fall under the Multimodal Transport Collective Agreement, which covers about 1,300 people. The collective labor agreement mainly covers train staff, but also some bus drivers for companies that run both buses and trains, like Arriva and Keolis.
The employees are striking for a better collective bargaining agreement. Employers and trade unions could not agree on the wage increase for 2023, among other things. “Due to high inflation, people can hardly make ends meet, and the workload is sky-high due to staff shortages and high absenteeism. Something must be done about this quickly,” said Edwin Kuiper of the trade union FNV.
Thursday is the third day of strikes for Arriva staff. Previous strike days happened in December in the north of the country. Those actions did not lead to significant timetable problems.
Reporting by ANP