Wednesday 20 November 2019

Biggest Dutch union to slash workforce as membership shrinks

Photo: DutchNews.nl

The biggest Dutch trade union federation FNV is poised to cut its workforce by almost 20% or 400 full and part-time jobs, the Volkskrant said on Friday.

Membership numbers are declining and this is forcing the union to make cuts totalling €16m a year, the paper said. It bases its claim on the plan to reorganise the union’s operations.

A spokesman for the union told the paper that those losing their job would be offered a ‘union-worthy social plan’. Most of the jobs will go in support functions, he said.

Hardest hit will be the department offering advice and services, which will be halved in size. The union currently has a workforce of 2,000, including part-time jobs.

In the coming years the union will focus on attracting younger members, the Volkskrant said.

The FNV’s current membership is ‘over one million’ according to the union website but has lost tens of thousands of members in recent years. The federation was founded in 1976 when two smaller unions merged.

Trade unions have an important role in the Netherlands. They take part in collective bargaining negotiations on wages and working conditions and have a role on the government’s most senior advisory body SER, which also includes employer representatives and lay members.

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