Unions delay pay demand announcement

The two biggest Dutch trade union federations, FNV and CNV, have decided to delay announcing their pay demands for 2009 until after the traditional autumn talks between ministers, employers and unions.

The unions usually publish their demands the day before the budget (today).
The cabinet is to stress the need for pay moderation in its 2009 spending plans which will be formally presented this afternoon.
But the unions have already said that cuts in unemployment benefit premiums and changes to redundancy law cannot be made conditional on lower wage demands. Inflation is set to reach 3.5% next year.
‘Taxes and premiums as well as wages determine spending power,’ FNV pay negotiator Wilma Wind told news agency ANP on Monday. ‘So we want to wait for the results of those talks.’ The meeting usually takes place at the end of September or early October.
The Financieele Dagblad reports on Tuesday that the unions will also focus on winning more rights for employees to work at home and for better career development.

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