Monday 23 May 2022

Union membership falls by nearly 100,000 in two years, 1.5 million are now a member

Photo: Mauritsvink via Wikimedia Commons

Trade union membership in the Netherlands continues to decline, falling by 6% since 2019, national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday.

Over the past 10 years, union membership has declined from 1.9 million to 1.5 million, the lowest figure since 1966. The CBS publishes the figures every two years.

Union members are likely to be older, and 22% have reached pension age but continue paying their fees, the CBS said.

The highest rate of union membership is in the education sector, where 31% are a member. Local government, and the transport and logistics sectors also have almost 30% membership.

CBS research also shows that 54% of non-union members had never really thought seriously about joining and 12% felt unions had no impact on their working conditions.

The Netherlands has two main trade union federations, the FNV and CNV.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.