Travelers are facing a new day of disruption Friday as transport workers go on strike yet again in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions, RTV Noord reports. Qbuzz and Arriva have issued warnings that bus services in the province of Groningen will be significantly reduced.
Rail services will be unaffected this time as train operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) has agreed a pay deal with unions, thus ending the dispute that triggered a series of rail strikes in recent months. The train replacement bus between Groningen and Leer is running as usual, too.
Other bus routes in the Groningen area, however, are substantially reduced, with about half of the lines closed.
Henk Rozema, a FNV representative in Groningen and Drenthe, apologized for disruption caused by strike action Friday but indicated it may not be the last, if the dispute cannot be resolved with negotiations for a new pay deal.
Rozema said: “We’re terribly sorry that people are inconvenienced, but this is the only way to make ourselves heard. We’re making a stand for our passengers, too, because unscheduled absenteeism by our drivers due to rising sickness forces us to scale back a lot of our services.”
There have been a number of transport strikes over issues such as pay in the Netherlands in recent months, such as the ongoing bus driver strike, as well as the successfully concluded strike action at NS – all displaying concerns amid the ongoing cost of living crisis. Arriva and Qbuzz drivers are covered by a different collective labor agreement than that of their NS colleagues.
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