Public transport strike goes ahead on Wednesday

22nd June 2005, Comments 0 comments

24 June 2005AMSTERDAM — There will be no public transport in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht next Wednesday.

24 June 2005

AMSTERDAM — There will be no public transport in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht next Wednesday.

Trade union Abvakabo FNV confirmed on Friday that drivers and conductors on trams, city buses and metros in the cities will hold a 24-hour work stoppage from 6am on 29 June as part of the dispute over a new pay deal for municipal workers.

The Hague will not be affected as workers of the city's public transport company HTM are not covered by the same CAO agreement for council workers.

Drivers for the transport systems in Nijmegen, Groningen and Maastricht are part of the CAO at issue but they are not going out on strike.

The transport unions held shorter work stoppages earlier this month in a bid to force a breakthrough in the wage talks with local government officials.

"Our members were irritated by the attitude of their employers who have offered little or no openings in the talks," a spokesperson for Abvakabo said.

The suggestion by the Dutch association of municipalities (VNG) that far from workers supported the previous industrial action had caused "blood to boil" and only increased the numbers taking part in Wednesday's stoppage, the union said.

Rotterdam transport company RET expressed regret on Friday that its passengers who be hit by the strike. The public transport system was being used as a tool to exert pressure in the conflict between the government and the unions, RET said.

A public transport stoppage in Rotterdam could have a major impact on the first national veterans day, or Nederlandse Veteranendag.

The event is to honour former Dutch soldiers and the organisers had hoped 7,000 veterans would attend a special event in Rotterdam's Ahoy concert hall. Alternative travel arrangements are hurriedly been put in place.

A strike by council workers shut down public transport in Amsterdam and Utrecht on 9 June and industrial action by staff at rail operator ProRail halted national and international train services on 17 June.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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