Strike in regional transport today; Garbage strikes start in Den Bosch, Maastricht
Employees in regional transport will again go on strike on Wednesday. Some municipal officials in Den Bosch and Maastricht will start a week-long work stoppage today. This mainly concerns employees of the city cleaning service. The aim of both strikes is a better collective bargaining agreement.
Trade unions FNV and CNV organized the regional transport strike for better working conditions for 13,000 employees, mainly bus drivers. They will also strike on Friday. The two strike days follow a five-day strike earlier this month. Negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement are deadlocked.
Striking staff want their new agreement to state that wages will rise with inflation. It must also include measures to reduce the workload for bus drivers who work for Arriva, Qbuzz, Keolis, and others. FNV demanded a wage increase of 16.9 percent in one year. The CNV demanded 14 percent over 18 months.
Public transport employers’ association VWOV maintains that the wage demand is too high. Chairman Fred Kagie previously said that they simply don’t have that money. The employers say that the margins in public transport are tiny and that many transport companies have been making a loss since the coronavirus pandemic. The VWOV offered an 8 percent wage increase in one year. Together with improved terms of employment, staff will benefit by 11 percent.
Regional public transport workers also went on strike from February 6 to 10, disrupting many bus services. The employers and trade unions differ on what effect the strike had. According to employers, about half of the buses were canceled that week. FNV claimed a dropout rate of about 80 percent.
A second collective labor agreement in regional transport covers 1,300 employees, mainly train staff. Trade unions and employers have also reached an impasse in these negotiations. CNV organized these workers to strike around Zwolle on Thursday. Keolis expects fewer will run on the Zwolle-Enschede and Zwolle-Kampen routes.
City cleaning services in Den Bosch and Maastricht are striking for a week from Monday. Trade union FNV wants a better collective bargaining agreement. The strike means that a lot of carnival waste will remain on the streets, the union said. Carnival ended the night before the strike started.
City cleaners will not collect private or industrial waste during the strike, which will last until Tuesday. FNV warns that the strike will also have consequences for the municipalities surrounding Den Bosch, namely, Altena, Vught, Heusden, Bernheze, and Oisterwijk.
In Den Bosch, municipal workers will collect the regular waste on Saturday. That means that they’ll empty waste containers but leave the surrounding garbage.
In Amsterdam, civil servants started a week-long strike on Monday. Garbage was already piling up on the streets after the first day of the labor action.
Reporting by ANP