Dutch railway shutdown ends with a bumper 8% extra pay deal

A view of the central station after train services were canceled due to a rail workers’ strike in Amsterdam, Netherlands in September 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | beautiful pictures

Dutch railway unions on Sunday reached an agreement with employers to increase workers’ wages by more than 8% within 18 months, ending a wage dispute.

Strikes have periodically crippled the rail line in recent weeks and another shutdown is scheduled for this week.

Sunday’s deal comes amid rising inflation in the Netherlands and the broader European Union, and significantly above average wages in the country so far this year.

State-owned NS Railways said wages will rise again from July by 5%, or a minimum of 185 euros ($186) a month, with an additional 3.45% in January.

It calls the deal good news for passengers and rail workers.

The union FNV Spoor said the combined average increase would be 9.25%.

Unions say they have also reached an agreement on a minimum wage of 14 euros an hour and two additional payments of 1,000 euros ($1,000) per worker. The company has 38,600 employees in 2020.

According to the employers’ association AWVN, the average wage increase negotiated so far in 2022 in collective bargaining agreements for about 2.5 million Dutch workers is 3.2%. .

Policymakers in Europe have expressed concern that if inflation stays high for too long, businesses will start to adjust payments, creating a price spiral that is hard to break.

Statistics Netherlands says Dutch inflation hit 12% in August, largely due to a 151% increase in gas and electricity prices year-on-year.

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