Garbage strike begins on eve of SAIL

15th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

15 August 2005, AMSTERDAM — The catering industry has voiced worries that the centre of Amsterdam will be transformed into a huge garbage dump this week due to a strike by sanitation workers that coincides with SAIL 2005.

15 August 2005

AMSTERDAM — The catering industry has voiced worries that the centre of Amsterdam will be transformed into a huge garbage dump this week due to a strike by sanitation workers that coincides with SAIL 2005.

Up to two million people are expected to attend the six-day event featuring tall ships and other vessels that begins on Wednesday.

Amsterdam's sanitation workers stopped work for a week from Sunday evening to push for a better CAO, or pay and work conditions agreement. Garbage will not be collected, streets will not be cleaned and garbage bins will not be emptied during the strike.

The City Council had asked the public not to leave out rubbish bags on the street and to keep household refuse indoors this week.

Cafe and bar owners are concerned the city centre will be plunged into chaos by the combination of the strike and SAIL. Some 170 tonnes of garbage are collected on an average day in the centre of Amsterdam alone.

MKB, the organisation for small and medium businesses in the Netherlands, has been in talks with the City Council to see if private contractors can be hired to keep the city clean over the next week.

But local television station AT5 reported that the chances of private cleaners being hired is small.

Meanwhile, fire department personnel are also taking industrial action this week to push for better work conditions.

Emergency services will continue as normal but fire fighters are refusing to undertake overtime work. An exception will be made for overtime in connection with SAIL.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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