Strong growth drives wage demands
11 August 2006, AMSTERDAM — The two largest trade union confederations see the strong performance of the Dutch economy as reason to increase their wage demands for 2007.
11 August 2006
AMSTERDAM — The two largest trade union confederations see the strong performance of the Dutch economy as reason to increase their wage demands for 2007.
The FNV and CNV are now seeking an increase up to a maximum 2 percent. Traditionally the unions announce their pay demands for the following year around Budget Day in September. "But it is quite clear that there will be more to divide up in 2007," the FNV said.
The Dutch economy has been in the doldrums for the last few years and Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's centre-right government has pressured the unions to adhere to wage moderation.
The CNV expects pay demands of at least 1 percent if employment rates maintain their current positive development. That means 2.5 percent assuming an inflation rate of 1.5 percent.
Dutch economic growth was 2.4 percent in the second quarter of 2006. "The increase in the gross domestic product (GDP) was realised with one working day fewer than the same quarter last year," Statistics Netherlands (CBS) said.
The increase in exports was slightly down in the second quarter. In spite of this, exports are still the main driving force behind economic growth. In addition household consumption picked up substantially, especially of durable consumer goods, the CBS said.
There were 80,000 employee jobs more in the second quarter of 2006 than twelve months previously (1.1 percent). This growth is equal to that in the first quarter of 2006. In terms of full-time equivalents, growth is slightly lower (0.9 percent). The reason for this is the large proportion of part-time jobs in the growth sectors.
"After correction for seasonal effects, the number of jobs was 0.3 percent higher in the second quarter than in the first quarter of 2006. This, too, indicates that employment growth continues," the CBS report said.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Dutch news