Unions angry at pay deal for Polish staff

The main Dutch trade unions and staffing agency association ABU are angry about a new pay deal for Polish workers which means they will be cheaper to employ than Dutch staff, according to media reports.

Marcel Nuyten of the country’s FNV trade union federation describes the deal as ‘scandalous’ and ‘discriminatory’.
The deal means foreign workers on temporary contracts will earn less pay for evening and night work, says the FNV Bondgenoten union in the Financieele Dagblad.
And ABU director Aart van der Gaag tells the Telegraaf that he estimates the deal means Polish and other foreign workers will cost 15% less than staff employed through traditional staffing agencies.
‘In the current economic situation it is totally unacceptable that more foreign staff are brought to the Netherlands. The only people to benefit from this are the VIA agencies,’ he told the paper. VIA is the umbrella organisation of temp agencies which specialise in foreign staff.
Staffing agency Otto, which is the market leader in bringing eastern European workers to the Netherlands, supports the Dutch unions’ stance according to the FD.
‘Polish people should not get jobs here because they are cheaper but because they work harder or will do jobs that that Dutch won’t do,’ Otto director Frank van Gool told the paper.
But VIA chairman Bert Bakker, a former MP for the liberal D66 party, is quoted by the Telegraaf as saying that the new deal better reflects the wishes of temporary staff.
A new pay and conditions agreement (CAO) between unions and ABU is currently awaiting approval from the social affairs ministry. If the minister agrees to the deal, it will be declared binding across the whole temporary employment sector.
By signing its own pay deal, the VIA hopes to avoid being included, the Telegraaf says.

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