Few problems in early morning transport strike

30th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

30 May 2005, AMSTERDAM — Public transport ground to a halt in Amsterdam on Monday morning, but only a few tourists and Dutch residents were seen waiting for trams, buses or metros that were never going to arrive.

30 May 2005

AMSTERDAM — Public transport ground to a halt in Amsterdam on Monday morning, but only a few tourists and Dutch residents were seen waiting for trams, buses or metros that were never going to arrive.

Workers with transport authority GVB walked off the job at 5.30am and did not return until 8.30am. Ferries also stopped operating, but regional buses operated by Connexxion were operating.

Few problems were reported, despite the fact Amsterdam Central Station was as busy as normal because staff of Dutch rail operator NS were not out on strike.

Commuters and students simply opted for other forms of transport, either walking through the city from Amsterdam Central or taking a taxi. Bikes were also very much in evidence.

Loudspeakers were used to inform the public about the strike in Dutch and most commuters reacted without complaint. Yellow stickers in Dutch and English were posted at tram or bus stops to announce the strike.

But some foreigners were unaware a strike had been called. An American woman was ringed by photographers shortly after 7am as she waited at a tram stop at Amsterdam Central.

Public transport started to return to normal shortly after 9am and the crowds that built up anticipating the end of the strike slowly started to dissipate.

Monday's strike was part of an industrial action campaign being waged by public servants amid stalled discussions over a new CAO labour agreement with municipal councils.

A union-led protest will take place between 1-4pm in front of the Amsterdam city hall on Monday. Mayor Job Cohen will be presented with a petition.

Unions are planning a 24-hour nation-wide public service strike on 9 June.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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