Regional bus drivers will start an all-out strike next Monday in support of a new pay and conditions agreement unless a deal is reached in the meantime, the FNV union said on Tuesday.
Until now, the strikes have been held in different parts of the country but from Monday regional bus services and some train services all over the country will be hit by indefinite strike action, the FNV said.
The escalation is due to a ‘lack of will’ to solve the impasse in the negotiations on the part of the employers, the FNV said, adding that two negotiators currently trying to find a way out of the problem ‘have a week to get the employers to move and come up with concrete and good agreements about both pressure of work and pay.’
Striking is not something you do for fun, FNV negotiator Paula Verhoef said. ‘But in this case, there is no choice. Passengers too are often hit by the too tight scheduling and have to wait for a long time if a service is cancelled.’
The level of service is far from being safe and as good as it should be, she 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.