Rotterdam public transport grinds to halt
25 September 2006, AMSTERDAM — Rotterdam public transport staff walked off the job on Monday morning, bringing buses, trams and metros to a standstill.
25 September 2006
AMSTERDAM — Rotterdam public transport staff walked off the job on Monday morning, bringing buses, trams and metros to a standstill.
The strike started at 7am and transport authority RET expected a large number of its 3,000 employees to join the strike action.
A large number of people were seen walking to work in the Rotterdam city centre and barely anyone was seen waiting in vain for public transport. A few people were waiting for taxis.
An RET spokesman said the situation was calm and suggested that a lot of people had taken the day off.
RET director Pedro Peters said management will initiate legal action if unions and staff decide to extend the strike on Tuesday.
Staff went out on strike in demand for a better workplace accord (CAO), but Peters said what workers really wanted was guaranteed income until their pension, even if they started work with a competitor — something that went beyond the CAO.
Motorists association ANWB said there was no indication of extra traffic on roads to and from Rotterdam due to the strike.
"We had expected more traffic jams, but the large number of warnings worked," a spokesman said.
Monday's strike comes after public transport also ground to a halt for a day in Rotterdam at the end of last year, the same as it did in Amsterdam and Utrecht.
And RET staff went out on strike in 1999, again in demand for a better workplace agreement.
Meanwhile, an accident involving a bus and two cars on the A16 motorway led to long traffic delays on Monday morning near Rotterdam. A 20km traffic jam on the A16 and 30km on the A27 were reported.
One person was slightly hurt in the accident, while the 25 bus passengers were to be put on another bus to Amsterdam. The cause of the accident is not yet known.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Dutch news