Saturday 26 September 2020

Dutch state railway to shed jobs in €1.4bn post Covid-19 efficiency drive

Photo: N. van der Pas

State owned Dutch railway company NS is faced with making cuts totaling €1.4bn and could shed 2,300 jobs because of the downturn in passengers due to coronavirus.

News of the cuts was shared with staff on Monday, and jobs could be lost across the entire operation, although most will go at head office, broadcaster NOS said.

The NS hopes most jobs can be phased out as workers retire – some 2,500 are due to stop work in the coming five years. Everyone on a permanent contract will keep their job although some may be trained up to take over other functions. Management board members will also take a 10% pay cut.

The NS currently has a workforce of some 20,000 in the Netherlands. The efficiency drive will now be worked out in more detail and shared with the unions who will then discuss the plans with their members.

The reorganisation is needed to make sure train tickets remain affordable in the future and to be able to make investments, the company said.

In total, the company expects to lose €4.7bn up to 2025 because of the change in travelling patterns driven by coronavirus. It does not expect passenger numbers to recover fully until 2024.

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