The FNV trade union federation is calling for a major increase in the national minimum wage as one measure to reduce the number of households living in poverty.
The biggest Dutch union group is calling for a €16 per hour minimum for the over 21s, the AD reported on Thursday. The call comes as the government’s macro-economic think tank warned that poverty will increase next year without action.
The union had earlier called for a rise to €14 but says this is not now enough to offset the impact of inflation, which is set to remain high for the coming two years.
Such an increase would cost some €10 billion and while this is a lot of money, “record profits are being reported, and management and shareholders are the ones to benefit”, FNV chairman Tuur Elzinga told the paper.
“The Netherlands has never been so rich,” he said. “But those on minimum and middle incomes face going under. We have to call a halt.”
The state pension AOW and other social security benefits should also rise in line with the minimum wage, Elzinga said.
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