Public transport strike set for Wednesday

A public transport strike in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam in protest at the cabinet’s plan to raise the state pension age from 65 to 67 has been announced by public sector trade union AbvoKabo, report various media on Monday.

The bus, tram and metro companies in the three cities are trying to prevent Wednesday’s strike though legal action which they describe as ‘out of proportion’ and ‘totally unjustified’ according to the Telegraaaf. ‘The raising of the pension age is not government, not company policy,’ a spokesman for the Amsterdam public transport firm GVB is quoted by the paper as saying.
Passengers association Rover has called the strike plans ‘terribly anti-social’ and is considering joining the transport firms in their legal action against the action, reports the Telegraaf.
According to the Volkskrant the strike will start early and last until 8.35am. The legal action to ban the strike is due to be heard by a court in Amsterdam at 10am on Tuesday, the paper says.
Devil’s pact
Negotiations between the unions and employers to come up with an alternative to the cabinet’s plans failed last week. The cabinet is expected to present draft legislation for the increase in state pension age, including details of the time frame for the change, this month.
Meanwhile Trouw reports that Agnes Jongerius, chairwoman of the FNV trade union federation does not rule out forming a ‘devil’s pact’ with the anti-immigration PVV party of Geert Wilders which is fiercely against the raising of the state pension age. ‘Call it opportunism but every bit of support counts,’ she is quoted as saying.

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