Regional train staff on strike for three days this week
Train staff working for regional public transport operators will go on strike for three days this week in various regional territories to demand better working conditions. The VVMC union called for a two-day strike on Thursday and Friday. Their FNV colleagues decided to add Tuesday to that list. The strikes are separate from a threatened fifteen-day strike spread out over several weeks as previously announced by FNV and CNV, which regards a separate collective bargaining agreement.
The latest proposed train strikes relates to a contract that applies to approximately 1,300 employees. VVMC said that employees will stop working on Thursday in the Achterhoek Rivierenland, Twente and Limburg regions. On Friday, personnel working on the Vechtdal line will follow, with demonstrations in Emmen, Zwolle, and Mariënberg, Overijssel. On that day, people who work on the MerwedeLingelijn in the Dordrecht region will also participate, according to VVMC.
FNV indicated that the central focus on Tuesday and Thursday is in the "east (Twente and Achterhoek), west (Dordrecht) and south (Limburg) of the country." On Friday, the union, like VVMC, will also call for a strike on the route between Emmen and Zwolle.
The previous strike announcement by FNV and CNV applies in particular to bus drivers, who are covered by a collective labor agreement for 13,000 employees. They also want to enforce better working conditions. After a strike on Tuesday and Thursday, thirteen more days of strikes will follow, spread over six weeks.
In both collective labor agreements, the unions want wages to automatically grow in line with inflation, which would be a substantial increase given the high level of inflation over the past year. Employers think this will cost too much money. The unions also want the workload to be reduced at the regional transport companies.
Arriva said it cannot yet say anything about the expected nuisance caused by the strikes. The carrier can only make this assessment on the day itself, when it becomes clear how many employees are willing to participate in the labor action. Furthermore, Arriva indicated that the strikes "do not exactly speed up the collective bargaining negotiations."
Reporting by ANP