MPs hold emergency debate on bus strike

Junior transport minister Tineke Huizinga and finance minister Wouter Bos will both be in parliament today for an emergency debate on the ongoing bus strike.

Left-of-centre MPs are urging Huizinga to get involved in solving the dispute. ‘She is shoving the conflict to one side, but she is involved in all sorts of ways,’ Green party MP Wijnand Duyvendak told Trouw.
The government has reduced bus company subsidies but has also pegged ticket prices to their present level. The companies argue this is forcing them to make savings.
Huizinga, however, views the conflict as a straightforward pay struggle between unions and employers, says Trouw.
The unions insist on a 3.5% rise and continued payment during breaks. Employers are offering 5% over two years and more if drivers agree to unpaid breaks and fewer holidays.
Many MPs say the government must make more money available to ease both sides’ grievances.
‘We can talk about a financial solution, but we must hear straight away if that will be possible,’ Christian Democrat MP Jan Mastwijk told news agency ANP.

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