FNV set to appoint first woman leader
27 January 2005, AMSTERDAM — Agnes Jongerius looks sets to become the first woman leader of the largest trade union group in the Netherlands, if current FNV leader Lodewijk de Waal steps down later this year as expected.
27 January 2005
AMSTERDAM — Agnes Jongerius looks sets to become the first woman leader of the largest trade union group in the Netherlands, if current FNV leader Lodewijk de Waal steps down later this year as expected.
Radio 1 said on Thursday that Jongerius will be nominated as a candidate for the position of chairperson of the FNV union confederation next week.
An FNV congress in May would have to confirm her as leader, but insiders have told news service NOS that this would be a formality because there is broad support for Jongerius with the unions that make up the FNV.
Jongerius, 44, is currently the Vice President of the FNV and has been working for the trade union movement since 1987. She joined the FNV federation management in 1997.
Known as a tough negotiator, sources say her promotion as FNV chief would be a foregone conclusion if the position was vacant by May.
There has been talk in recent weeks that De Waal — who has served two four-year terms since 1997 as FNV leader — was ready to step down.
He was the most prominent leader behind union protests against the government's budget cutbacks last year. The high point of his career came last October when up to 300,000 people took part in a demonstration in Amsterdam's Museumplein, forcing the government to renegotiate key points of its reform programme.
De Waal has been sounding out advice within the FNV in recent weeks about his future and sources have told the media that it is likely he will decide to bow out on a high note.
The leader of Christian trade union confederation CNV, Doekle Terpstra, announced earlier this month that he was stepping down from the leadership of the second largest trade union bloc in the Netherlands.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news, FNV