Confusion, free travel in public transport strike
16 November 2006, AMSTERDAM — The public transport strike in the Netherlands' four largest cities on Wednesday caused a great deal of confusion for commuters.
16 November 2006
AMSTERDAM — The public transport strike in the Netherlands' four largest cities on Wednesday caused a great deal of confusion for commuters.
A special call centre was inundated with calls from travellers, many of whom thought that public transport had been shut down nationwide.
In Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, there were no trams or busses for much of the day as staff protested against the liberalisation of public transport they said may lead to worse working conditions and pay.
Public friendly actions allowed commuters to travel for free on the metro (and on trams and buses during the morning rush-hour), while drivers and unions demonstrated in The Hague.
The leader of trade union confederation FNV, Agnes Jongerius, called for the liberalisation to be postponed for at least two years.
Wednesday's strike came one week before national elections, at a time when the Labor PvdA has fallen behind the governing Christian Democrat CDA in most polls.
The FNV aims to put the discussion over market forces in public transportation back on the public agenda, hoping also for a left-wing election victory on 22 November.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Dutch news