Employees of the Dutch Railways (NS) have gone on a 24-hour strike in the western provinces of the Netherlands, after talks over pay and workload broke down.
In Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe and parts of Flevoland and Overijssel, the first provinces to begin the protest, no trains were running Wednesday between 4am and 4pm after the FNV, VVMC and CNV labor unions called for a relay strike in five parts of the country. The decision was taken after collective labor agreement negotiations with the company failed a week ago. The unions asked for a one-off payment of 600 euros, and a permanent monthly wage increase of 100 euros.
Today’s strike affects such major cities as The Hague, Leiden, Rotterdam and Dordrecht. NS said on its website that it expects its trains “to run up to and from Gouda, Haarlem, Hoofddorp, Lage Zwaluwe and Alphen a/d Rijn stations. This part of the Netherlands plays an important role in our timetable, which means that the strike could also cause major disruption in the rest of the country as well.” The strike also affects international train traffic. The international trains between Amsterdam and Brussels run irregularly. The train operator also added that the strike affects international train traffic, but normal service within the country is likely to be resumed during the weekend.
NS Strike this week. I hope the workers get what they’re fighting for! Posting the schedule for others who commute too. ✊🏽 pic.twitter.com/XvZ57dkMj9
— P (she/her) 🌻☀️🏳️🌈 (@nrqzicai) August 21, 2022
According to the Dagblad van het Noorden, the relay walkout will take place in the northwest, including Amsterdam, on August 29; the central provinces (August 30); and, finally, the southern and eastern regions (August 31). The unions said a nationwide strike will follow in September if the NS does not comply with their demands.
National statistics office CBS says consumer price index was 10.3 percent higher in July than in the same month last year. The inflation rate is above 10 percent for the first time since October 1975.