The Netherlands’ biggest trade union federation, the FNV, is calling for pay rises of at least 1.25% next year.
And companies which do not agree to including extra training and job guarantees in the next pay round, could face calls for a 2% increase.
The unions usually publish their pay demands in September, to coincide with the annual budget, but delayed this year to give employers more time to implement measures agreed in their spring talks.
Employer organisations were quick to condemn the pay plan, describing it as ‘irresponsible’.
‘The FNV appears to have conveniently forgotten the biggest economic crisis since World War II and is taking major risks with employment levels,’ the VNO-NCW and MKB organisations said in a joint statement.
Employers say the rise goes against the pay freeze agreed in the spring talks. The union denies this.
The Volkskrant points out the the relationship between the two sides has deteriorated since the break-down of talks to find an alternative to the cabinet’s planned two-year increase in the state and corporate pension age.
Some 500 of the country’s 900 sector-based pay and conditions agreements are up for renewal next year, the Volkskrant said.
The Christian union federation has already called for a pay rise of between 1% and 2%.
Smaller employers organisation AWVN urged the unions to call a halt to wage rises two weeks ago. But it told the Volkskrant it saw room to manoeuvre in the FNV demand. ‘We consider worker flexibility rather than wages the most important aspect,’ a spokesman said.
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