Unions must accept fewer perks for older workers, say Dutch employers

If the Netherlands wants to remain competitive, older workers have to be prepared to accept fewer perks, Dutch employers say in a confidential document quoted in Tuesday’s Volkskrant.

The document will form part of the next round of pay and conditions talks between employers and union, the paper says.

‘The crisis, globalisation and IT developments are bringing high tempo changes with them and it is high time secondary benefits were adapted to this new reality,’ Harry van de Kraats, director of employer advisory group AWVN told the paper. ‘We must dare reduce perks. That will be painful for older workers but it is necessary.’

‘Extra days off and exemptions from irregular shifts are no longer appropriate for people who will keep working until they have reached state retirement age,’ Van der Kraats said. The AWVN advises hundreds of companies on how to tackle pay and conditions negotiations.

Negotiations on 523 pay deals started last year but one-third have not yet been completed.

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