Wednesday 21 April 2021

Public transport workers strike in Amsterdam and Utrecht

Amsterdam tramCommuters in Amsterdam and Utrecht face chaos on Thursday morning because of a strike by transport workers.

Amsterdam’s public transport department says there will be no buses, trams or metro services until 08.30 hours and that it will be 11.00 before services are back to normal. Ferries across the IJ waterway will operate but travellers have been warned to expect crowded conditions.

In Utrecht, bus company Qbuzz says there will be no bus services until 08.30 but that passengers should expect delays and disruption until at least 10.30. Some 125,000 people take public transport to get to work, school and college every day in the city, Qbuzz said.

The strike has been called by the FNV transport union to protest at the pay deal for civil servants agreed between three other unions and employers this summer.

Qbuzz had gone to court in an effort to have the strike declared illegal, arguing that its staff are not affected by the pay deal.

However, the FNV argues that that they are because GVB and Qbuzz workers’ company pensions are provided by the civil service pension fund ABP. The pay deal involves changes to the way pension premiums are collected which is likely to have an impact on everyone’s payouts.

The GVB is owned by Amsterdam city council while Qbuzz is part of the state-owned national railway company NS.

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