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In the Netherlands, union employees go on strike

A strike call by the FNV is a classic in the Netherlands. Normal, these three letters designate the Dutch trade union confederation, regularly at the initiative of social movements in Holland. But a strike at the FNV, that’s a first.

And yet the employees of the organization were mobilized on Monday to defend their interests during a march in Amsterdam on the occasion of May Day. They announced on this occasion an unprecedented strike day on Tuesday, the first strike within the FNV, according to a press release from the confederation. In particular, the staff are asking for a higher salary increase in line with inflation.

“Insufficient” revaluations

“It is of course extremely disappointing to see that management is sticking to its guns,” said staff representative Judith Westhoek, quoted in the statement. “FNV employees are equally entitled to fair and contemporary collective agreements,” Ms Westhoek continued. “The fact that we have to campaign and strike for this is painful.”

FNV staff presented management with an ultimatum last week, which expired on Monday morning, for a new collective agreement negotiated in recent months. “We were hoping for an agreement on May 1”, International Workers’ Day, lamented the staff.

The management of the FNV is proposing from May 1 a salary increase of 3 to 7%, depending on the salary grids. From next January 1, everyone would be guaranteed a 5% raise and after that, salaries will be increased according to a price compensation of up to 5%. Insufficient according to the staff, who warn that other strikes will follow if the union does not improve its final offer.

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