Massive bus strike hits north of Netherlands
9 December 2004
AMSTERDAM — Most city and regional bus services in the northern part of the Netherlands ground to a halt on Thursday by a 24-hour strike.
Trade union Abvakabo FNV said it expected 500 to 600 drivers employed by bus company Arriva to take part in Thursday’s stoppage. By 7.30am, no buses had left their depots in Groningen province.
The action is expected to halt all bus services in cities and towns in Groningen and Drenthe. Parts of Friesland, Overijssel and Flevoland provinces will also be without bus services on Thursday.
Arriva said services would continue to operate in Emmeloord and Leeuwarden, the capital of Friesland. But it warned passengers to expect delays and possible cancellations. Media reports on Thursday suggested that there was little or no bus service operating in Leeuwarden.
The striking drivers are to travel by hired buses to a rally at the union headquarters in Groningen. Arriva has hired people to hand out pamphlets with information about the strike at bus stations.
Arriva services in Gelderland and South Holland province will continue to operate as normal on Thursday, the company said.
The strike was called to try and win assurances from Arriva that no drivers would be sacked despite a cut in government subsidies for public transport in the north of the Netherlands. Arriva has warned it might have to lay off 62 employees due to the need to scrap 15 bus lines.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news