Cabinet crisis looms over redundancy plan

Labour ministers will quit the cabinet if social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner (Christian Democrat) refuses to amend controversial plans to reform redundancy law, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.

Quoting sources close to the cabinet, the paper says finance minister and Labour leader Wouter Bos told Donner about the threat last Friday.
The Telegraaf says Donner made a personal visit of around one hour to Mariƫtte Hamer, deputy leader of the parliamentary Labour party, on Wednesday night in an effort to avert the crisis.
Such a move is ‘most unusual’, the paper says. It says Donner has now agreed to add in an extra official safeguard before a worker loses his or her job. In the current reform, that check, which is made by the courts or the unemployment office CWI, would be retroactive.
The Financieele Dagblad says Labour MPs agreed not to press for a referendum on the new EU treaty in return for a commitment from Labour ministers that they would stand firm on the redundancy reforms.
‘We will not move one millimetre on our standpoint… that is totally out of the question,’ one party source told the paper.
A social affairs ministry spokesman denied that Donner is prepared to rework his redundancy plans.

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