Trade union membership continues decline, but more women are joining: CBS

The FNV is the biggest Dutch union federation. Photo:

The number of trade unon members in the Netherlands continues to decline, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.

At the end of March, 1.7 million people were affiliated to a trade union, a decline of 15,000 over 2016, and the sixth consecutive annual fall in union membership.

However, more women are now working than in the past and this is reflected in union membership. There are 650,000 female union member in 2017, up 8,000 on the previous year. The increase is largely due to the 45-plus age group – the only age group to display a rise in union membership.

In total, there were 518,000 female and 1.4 million male trade union members in 1999. But the number of male union members has fallen 21% since then to 1.1 million in 2017.