Port of Holland ferry drivers will have to sign new contracts with union
Port of Amsterdam ferry drivers have been hit with a new wave of job losses, with the union representing thousands of people having called for a general strike on Wednesday.
The union, which represents about 3,000 people at three ports in Holland, said it would hold a strike on Thursday to force a deal on new contracts, which have been the subject of intense negotiations between the Dutch government and the unions.
The unions are demanding a wage increase of at least 50 per cent and better working conditions, while also demanding the establishment of an arbitration committee that would review all job applications.
The company, Holland Freight, said in a statement that it would negotiate a new contract that included the same conditions.
The strike will be in place until Monday at the latest.
Holland Freight said it was taking steps to address the problems it faces, including by offering severance payments to more than 5,000 workers, but it would not be able to meet those demands.
The new contracts include the right to form an independent arbitrator and the right for workers to form a collective bargaining committee to review applications.
However, the union said that while a new agreement could be reached, the government was “not willing to accept this offer”.
The union said it had also been hit by a wave of attacks on its members, with more than 100 attacks reported in the last two weeks alone.
“We have lost almost 500 employees in just the last few days,” the union’s head, Hans Voorhees, said.
“It’s difficult to say how many we have lost since yesterday.
We’re not sure if the numbers will increase.
There are many more victims than we have the resources to look after.”
In a statement, Voorheiers union said: “The government’s stance is very clear.
We have no choice but to go on strike.”