Government ignores workers: union leader

The government is paying too much attention to employers organisations and ignoring the rights of workers, Agnes Jongerius, leader of the FNV trade union federation, says in Monday’s Volkskrant.

‘With the Labour party in the three-party coalition, we had hoped for more focus on workers,’ Jongerius tells the party. ‘But I only hear the prime minister talking about fewer rules for employers,’ she says.
And Labour leader Wouter Bos, who is also finance minister, should be doing more to make sure ministers involve workers’ organisations in the political process, she says.
The current government is a three-party coalition made up of the Christian Democrats, Labour and orthodox but left-leaning religious party ChristenUnie.
Bos told news agency ANP on Monday he was surprised at Jongerius’ comments. ‘My door is always open,’ Bos said via a spokesman.
Meanwhile social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner disputed Jongerius’ claims that the annual spring talks between unions, employers and government had been scrapped.
Donner said he hoped to use the talks to work on measures to boost on-the-job training and to remove some of the advantages enjoyed by older workers, such as extra holiday. It had to be a ‘useful meeting with a useful agenda,’ he was reported as saying.
However, the main employers’ organisation VNO-NCW told ANP it did not want to hold the traditional meeting until the government committee looking into boosting employment had reported back.

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