Regional bus drivers go on indefinite strike

Bus services over much of the country were paralysed on Monday as regional bus drivers continued their indefinite strike in support of a 3.5% pay claim.

The strike began on Sunday and means that no Arriva, Veolia and Connexxion buses are operating in most parts of the country. Services are continuing in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Dordrecht and parts of Gelderland, Limburg and Friesland, where drivers fall under another pay deal.
‘We have no choice,’ FNV union negotiator Janny Koppens told the NRC. ‘After three months of talks, management have not made a step in our direction. We have tried all sorts of passenger-friendly action, such as letting them travel free, but it has not helped.’
Bus drivers are campaigning for a 3.5% pay rise and longer paid breaks. Employers have offered 12% over three years and an extra month’s salary. In return, drivers would no longer be paid for a 15-minute break and would lose some days off.
On Monday unions and employers brought in former minister Klaas de Vries to make an analysis of the situation and look for possible compromise areas but he will not act as a negotiator, NOS tv said.
According to the Volkskrant, the provincial councils and public transport users group Rover plan to bring damages claims against the transport unions if the strike is not resolved quickly.

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