The coronavirus crisis has led companies in a number of sectors to back-pedal on pay rises which were already agreed before the pandemic hit the Netherlands, the Telegraaf said on Wednesday.
The cut flower industry, technical supplies and swimming pool sectors are among those which are looking to postpone pay rises, the paper said.
In the Netherlands, most pay agreements are negotiated collectively and applied across an entire industrial sector, although large firms tend to have their own, in-house deals.
Light engineering sector association Focwa has already managed to reach a deal with the unions to delay the pay rise due to come into effect in July to December.
‘Some companies are really struggling and every euro you don’t have to pay now can prevent bankruptcy,’ spokesman Brecht Grieten told the paper.
Laurens Harteveld, of employers organisation AWVN, told the Telegraaf that it was aware of similar proposals but that warned that unions will not simply agree.
‘You cannot turn back deals you have already made,’ Harteveld said. ‘However, the situation will become more urgent when the government support schemes are phased out.’
Cafes and bars
Meanwhile, a number of cafes and bars that reopened on June 1 have shut their doors again, saying it is impossible to make money given the social distancing requirements.
‘It remains a considerable challenge to use your space according to the rules and to maximise the number of clients,’ a spokeswoman for sector association Horeca Nederland told the Volkskrant. ‘Many have tried it and some have concluded it is cheaper to keep their doors shut than to open again.’
‘I can only fit 25 people legally in my bar, and it is impossible to make money that way,’ one bar owner told DutchNews.nl.
Horeca Nederland is to meet government officials for talks in the coming week in an effort to win more concessions on social distancing.
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