Employer and union chiefs renew calls for stability after cabinet talks

The traditional Dutch practice of involving unions and employers in developing government strategy is about to return, employers’ leader Bernard Wientjes told reporters on Thursday.

Wientjes was speaking after he and FNV trade union chief Ton Heerts had joined the ongoing cabinet negotiations between Labour and the VVD for a briefing.
‘Major reforms are only possible in the Netherlands if the polder is involved,’ Wientjes said. By polder, the employers’ chief means unions, employers and other interest groups.
‘We need a stable cabinet,’ the NRC quoted him as saying. ‘You can only have stability if you have social stability alongside political stability,’ he said.
Union leader Heerts said he and Wientjes had called on the two potential coalition partners to implement a ‘social agenda’. The two organisations are working on restoring trust between them, with ‘respect for each other’s standpoint.’
The two leaders declined to comment further on their discussions.
Insiders in The Hague expect the first stage of the formation process to be completed shortly. The broad agreement can then be put to party members for their approval.

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