Regional transport workers are staging fresh strikes on Wednesday and Friday in disputes over pay, workload, and staff shortages, RTV Noord reports. The strike was called by the FNV and CNV labor union federations that said that the public transport workers’ salaries and employment conditions are not fair.
The unions did not indicate which transport companies, routes, and regions are going to be affected but the action is likely to disrupt travel across the country.
Marijn van der Gaag, who represents the FNV labor union’s regional transport workers, said transport workers are frustrated with the negotiation process with the rail and bus service operators.
“Regional transport workers have reached their limit,” he stressed. “The workload is too high due to irregular rosters and tight journey times. If nothing changes, this will be very bad for the future of public transport.”
The announcement of new strikes comes two weeks after a five-day strike in regional transport. Workers demand a new collective labor agreement with a wage that keeps up with the inflation and better working conditions.
“Because of the staff shortages in the sector, the workload is sky-high. One in five drivers is sick, and that results in even more work pressure. In order to mitigate that, travel times must be reduced and normal work rosters must be re-introduced,” van der Gaag says.
The FNV has called for a 16.9% wage increase for its members while the CNV demands a 14% pay hike. As the latest round of strike action by the transport workers is about to begin, the unions have warned of further pain if their demands are not met.
Strikes have been a regular occurrence in the public transport sector in recent months, which brought public transport nationwide to a standstill. The protests are prompted by the cost-of-living crisis and the ongoing efforts by the unions to improve the CAO collective labor agreements for their members.