Dutch news in brief, 22 September 2004
FNV to demand 3 percent pay rise
Trade union confederation FNV confirmed this week that it will demand a maximum 1.25 percent wage rise for workers in CAO workplace agreement talks. It will also demand 1.75 percent more in extras such as pre-pension schemes and childcare assistance. FNV-affiliated unions have agreed that they will bargain for a maximum 3 percent wage and benefits increase in CAO talks. The Dutch Cabinet had urged workers not to seek wage rises to protect the economic recovery. Unions no longer feel bond to a two-year wage freeze agreed on with the government last year because the cabinet failed to offer sufficient compromises on early retirement schemes and cuts to social security. The FNV is also ignoring a cabinet decision declaring CAO agreements non-binding for an entire industry.
Police ‘bust’ cocaine smuggling gang
Dutch police claim to have busted a major drugs gang with the arrest of 17 suspects. The group is accused of importing large quantities of cocaine from the Caribbean into the Netherlands via Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and the port of Rotterdam, radio Netherlands reported. Police arrested four people on the islands of Curaçao and Aruba on Tuesday. Another 13 suspects had been previously arrested in the Netherlands, Curacao and Aruba. During the year-long investigation, 2,000kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of EUR 152 million were seized. The suspects include Rotterdam port workers and suspected Colombian and Antillean drug suppliers. The Dutch prosecution believes some of the gang’s leaders are among the detainees.
Drug smuggler dies on KLM flight
A Spanish drug smuggler died on a KLM plane on Monday. The Spaniard boarded the flight in Lima, Peru, and was intending to fly via the Antillean island of Bonaire and Amsterdam to Las Palmas in Spain. But the man had an epileptic fit above the Atlantic Ocean and attempts to reanimate him failed, news agency nu.nl reported. He was declared dead before the plane could make an emergency landing in Iceland. It is suspected that the man was smuggling drugs hidden in his stomach. It is the first death on board a KLM flight since the Dutch government launched an intensified crackdown on drug smuggling in late 2003.
Groggy patient escapes from hospital
A patient still recovering from a recent operation fled Vlietland Hospital in Schiedam on Tuesday afternoon. The patient was recovering in the outpatients clinic after the operation when he became agitated. Nursing staff asked the man — who was reportedly still groggy from the operation — to stay in the hospital, but he eventually escaped from the hospital in pajamas. As the man still required treatment, police and ambulance staff were called in to search for him, news agency Novum reported. The man was eventually found several streets away and taken back to the hospital.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news