Tuesday 04 October 2022

Regional bus drivers go on strike, some 80% of services cancelled

Striking bus drivers. Photo: Martine Krekelaar via HH

Some 80% of regional bus services nationwide have been hit by the all-out strike by public transport workers from Wednesday onwards, the FNV trade union says.

Bus services operated by Connexxion, Arriva, Qbuzz, Keolis, EBS and Hermes have all been hit by the strike, as have regional train services in Limburg, Amersfoort, Zwolle and Arnhem, news agency ANP said.

City transport in Amsterdam and The Hague is not affected but some Rotterdam bus services have also been cancelled.

Employers organisation VWOV says that some services are being operated by drivers who do not want to strike, particularly in Utrecht and in the Groningen region.

Some 50% of rush hour bus passengers are school pupils and students and schools are warning that the strike is no excuse not to get to school. ‘The strike was announced well in advance so this does not could as a legitimate reason not to attend school,’ the secondary school association VO-raad said.

Talks on a new pay and conditions deal for 12,000 public transport workers have been stalled for months. The unions are demanding less pressure of work and a 3.5% pay rise while employers have offered a 2% increase and no agreement on working conditions.

The employers say the unions call for an extra five minute break per 150 minutes on shift will lead to a 5% increase in costs. ‘And then the pay rise comes on top of that,’ a spokesman told broadcaster NOS last month.

It is unclear how long the strike will last. The CNV trade union says its members will strike up to Saturday while the FNV has called for an indefinite strike.

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