Netherlands - Street cleaners on strike for local government deal - April 30, 2010

Negotiations for a new local government collective agreement remained in a deadlock, with the organisation of Dutch municipalities (VNG) sticking to their pay freeze position and the unions continuing to demand a 1.5% increase, in line with the social accord agreed in 2009 in the national, intersectoral negotiations. In three cities the unions are focusing on strikes of street cleaners. The Amsterdam and The Hague municipalities went to court in an effort to have such strikes banned, arguing that strikes would jeopardize public safety, but both lost their case. In these two cities street cleansing departments went on a warning strike on Queen’s Day (30 April), a celebration that produces immense loads of garbage to be collected. In Amsterdam another strike is planned from 6 May on, while in the city of Utrecht municipal cleansing plans to strike between 1 and 5 May. This pressure seems to have enlarged the willingness on the side of VNG to resume talks (See also this Collective Bargaining Newsletter Year 3 January, February and March 2010).




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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