Netherlands - Dutch Railways abstains from using scabs - February 27, 2010

Under pressure of the FNV Bondgenoten union, Dutch Railways (NS) has abstained from the use of scabs (strike-breakers) in order to clean stations and trains, becoming filthy after three days of strike of cleaners for a new collective agreement. At a demonstration of cleaning workers, Bondgenoten sector responsible Mari Martens said NS was "the most miserly of principals." In their campaign "Clean Enough", the cleaners demand a 3% pay increase, more training and higher travelling allowances. On a parliamentary hearing earlier in February, cleaners gave striking examples of work pressure linked with low pay. The cleaning employers' association argues not to be able to pay wage increases because of tariff pressure of the large principals. FNV Bondgenoten already aimed cleaners' actions at principals like NS, large banks, hospitals, and universities. On 27 February cleaners at Reed Elsevier offices went on strike too (See also this Collective Bargaining Newsletter Year 2 March 2009).

This article was published in the Collective Bargaining Newsletter. It aims to facilitate information exchange between trade unions and to support the work of ETUC's collective bargaining committee. For more information, please contact the editor Maarten van Klaveren, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) You may find further information on the ETUI, and on the AIAS at © ETUI aisbl, Brussels 2009.

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