Netherlands - Trendsetting agreement in small metals sector - April 6, 2011

Mobilisation toward strike action won 380,000 metal workers a 25-month basic agreement in the small metals and electric-technical sector, in which one overarching collective agreement covers five sectors, including metal fabrication, gold and silver manufacturing, isolation, plumbing, heating, and electrical installation. The earlier agreement expired 1 April. The pay package worth 4.45%, to be paid in four steps, is expected to set the pace for other major contracts in manufacturing. Late on 6 April the three unions involved, FNV Bondgenoten, CNV Vakmensen and De Unie, reached a tentative agreement with the Metaal & Techniek industry association. “The employers didn't want a fight and we were quickly mobilising toward strike action,” said Jan Berghuis, main negotiator for FNV Bondgenoten, who called the deal “trendsetting.” All three unions will recommend the agreement for ratification. In the basic agreement it is also agreed that short-term contract labour can only go via labour-hire firms that have collective agreements with the unions.




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 at, and on the AIAS at © ETUI aisbl, Brussels 2011.

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