All-out bus strike continues in centre, south

The bus strike enters its 12th day on Thursday, with a partial return to work in Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe after a court ruling.

The unions are due to discuss whether to drop the rush hour stoppage with members later that day. ‘Drivers want to go on until they get a good pay deal,’ said FNV spokesman Janny Koppens. ‘They think the employers have made savings at their expense for too long.’
On Tuesday judges in Groningen ordered drivers in the north back to work during the rush hour because the strike is ‘socially disruptive’. After the verdict, Rover said it hoped the unions would now advise drivers not to strike during the rush-hour nationwide.
‘Of course we would rather have seen a total ban. But this means that at least commuters and students can get to work and school,’ a spokesman told news agency ANP.
Groningen provincial councillor Henk Bleker, who was behind the move for court action, said it was not about strike breaking. ‘It is about people who cannot get to work, school or hospital,’ he told the Volkskrant.
The court also told unions and employers to resume pay negotiations. If no deal was reached by August 12, an all-out strike would again be permitted, the judges said.
Until then, buses in the three provinces will only travel between 7am and 9am and 4pm and 7pm. If the unions fail to comply with these terms, they face a fine of €10,000 a day.
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