Biggest Dutch union group calls for pay rises of 5% to 14%

The biggest Dutch trade union federation is calling for pay rises of between 5% and 14% in the coming series of pay negotiations.

The FNV, which takes a lead role in negotiations, traditionally publishes its pay demand a day before the budget, which will be announced on Tuesday.

This year’s demand is higher than that of the CNV union federation which earlier said it would target between 4% and 10%.

The FNV said action is needed to compensate workers for mounting food, energy and housing costs. “Many pay deals are lagging behind because of inflation,” said deputy chairman Zakaria Boufangacha. “Inflation may have ebbed away in recent months, but the damage remains.”

The government’s macro-economic advisory agency CPB said last month that it expected spending power to recover for most groups, given the recent pay rises.

But it also warned that unless the government takes action, more people will be living below the poverty line.

Although spending power is expected to rise by 1.9% on average because of wage growth, some 7% of the country’s children will grow up in poverty next year without new measures, the CPB said.

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