Newsletter Database

417 articles found.
On 15 January, under heavy pressure of the three trade union confederations and the employers' as... [more]

On 15 January, under heavy pressure of the three trade union confederations and the employers' associations the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, Piet Hein Donner, announced that the deadline for applications to the official short-time arrangement has been extended another six weeks to 1 March 2009 (and not to 1 April, like the social partners jointly had asked earlier). Four days later the minister said to accept that the costs involved would go over the former limit of Euro 200 million. He envisaged that after 1 March a weaker version of the arrangement will be introduced, to be discussed in the so-called crisis team that has been put up of government, unions and employers' associations. The FNV union confederation has plead for continuation of the short-time arrangement linked up with training programs and labour pools, pointing at the continuously large labour shortages in a number of sectors (See also this Collective Bargaining Newsletter Year 1 No. 10).
(Dutch: NRC-Handelsblad, 14, 15, 17, 19 and 24 January 2009; information Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment).

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Public service union AbvaKabo FNV has called for a 3.5% pay increase for the 500,000 workers empl... [more]

Public service union AbvaKabo FNV has called for a 3.5% pay increase for the 500,000 workers employed in health and social care and covered by three major collective agreements - hospitals, mental health and disabled care. The union argues that the sector is being affected by demographic change with staff shortages at the same time as there is an increasing demand from an ageing population, with the numbers in care likely to rise by 50% to 1.5 million over the next 15 years. As part of the claim the union also wants a 13th month payment.
(English: http://www.epsu.org/cob/282; Dutch: http://www.abvakabofnv.nl/cao/bericht/35_procent_meer_loon_en_13e_maand_voor_500000_zorgmedewerkers/)

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On 9 December, on behalf of the three trade union confederations and the employers' associations ... [more]

On 9 December, on behalf of the three trade union confederations and the employers' associations the Labour Foundation (STAR) sent a letter to the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, Piet Hein Donner, asking to soften the "rigid" rules of the current official short-time ("werktijdverkorting" or WTV) arrangement: prolongation to 1 April 2009 instead of 1 January and lifting the maximum number of 20,000 employees. The Dutch arrangement is rather similar to the German one: lowered wages can partly be compensated by government funds, under conditions of a temporary but most likely passing loss of work with sales falling minimum 30% in the two months before requesting support. Per worker this arrangement can last maximum 24 weeks. In view of the economic crisis, minister Donner had reserved Euro 200 million for this purpose, covering 760,000 hours.
Many companies reporting serious problems, like steel producer Corus, truck manufacturer DAF and chipmaker NXP, also argued that the closing date came too early and complained about bureaucratic procedures; already before getting official support, these three firms announced short-time for most of their workforce but also collective dismissals -- though under union pressure DAF retreated from the announced dismissals. By 26 December, the ministry had approved 137 of 280 requests for short-time support, covering 233,000 hours. By that time, the closing date was prolonged to 15 January.
(Dutch: NRC-Handelsblad, 5, 10, 30 and 31 December 2008; De Volkskrant, 20 December 2008; information Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment).

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After in October FNV, the main trade union confederation, had announced a maximum wage demand of ... [more]

After in October FNV, the main trade union confederation, had announced a maximum wage demand of 3.5%, in mid-December CNV, the second largest confederation, made about the same announcement. Though recently inflation in 2009 is expected to go down to about 1.5%, both confederations judge a 3.5% hike defendable for a number of sectors. Negotiators of the two confederations point to the possibility of concluding short-term collective agreements, like the recent half-year agreement at steel producer Corus.
At the year-end, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment reported for 2008 an average increase of the collectively agreed wages of 3.2%, varying from 2.5% in agriculture and fishing to 3.7% in commercial services.
(Dutch: De Volkskrant, 16 December 2008; information Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment)

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Four unions (BVPP, CNV Publieke Zaak, CNV Bedrijvenbond and FNV Bondgenoten) have negotiated an i... [more]

Four unions (BVPP, CNV Publieke Zaak, CNV Bedrijvenbond and FNV Bondgenoten) have negotiated an industry agreement for the new postal services entering the market besides the large TNT Post company, notably Sandd and Selektmail. Yet, the major ABVAKABO FNV union has not been involved and has also refused to sign. This union argues that it is unclear when and under which conditions 80% of the so-called commission agreements of the Sandd and Selektmail postal workers, based on piece rates, will be changed into regular labour contracts as the agreement suggests. ABVAKABO FNV says in terms of labour conditions a level playing field is missing if the government decides to open the postal market fully.
(Dutch: NRC-Handelsblad, 12 and 17 November 2008; http://www.abvakabofnv.nl/cao/bericht/bond_tekent_cao_nieuwe_postbedrijven_niet/)

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IT firm Atos Origin (8,800 employees in the Netherlands) has definitely decided not to conclude a... [more]

IT firm Atos Origin (8,800 employees in the Netherlands) has definitely decided not to conclude a new collective agreement with the four unions involved, but instead to have regular talks about labour conditions with the Central Works Council (COR). This end of a leading agreement puts more pressure on the existing company-based agreements in the IT sector. Only one out of the six remaining company agreements has recently been re-negotiated (See also this Collective Bargaining Newsletter Year 1 No. 8).
(Dutch: AutomatiseringGids, 7 November 2008)

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During the tripartite so-called autumn talks the government agreed to reduce the employee contrib... [more]

During the tripartite so-called autumn talks the government agreed to reduce the employee contribution to the unemployment benefit funds (currently averaging 3.75%) to zero for 2009, and promised to allocate Euro 460 million to repair negative purchasing power effects in 2009 for elderly and people on benefit. After earlier government promises to maintain employment protection for those earning less than Euro 75,000 early and to abstain from plans to raise VAT (from 19 to 20%), the FNV union confederation moderated its wage claim to maximum 3.5% in 2009. Both FNV chairwomen Agnes Jongerius and the employers' association president judged the outcomes of the autumn talks as constructive and restoring trust between social partners. The CNV union confederation will not make its wage target public until December 2008.
(Dutch: http://www.awvn.nl/smartsite.shtml?ch=&id=11497 (tripartite declaration); English: FNV information via EUCOBAN network of European Metalworkers' Federation; Watson Wyatt Data Services, New Industrial Relations Europe, 10/2008)

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After a collective bargaining conflict in spring 2008, leading to the first strike in the Dutch I... [more]

After a collective bargaining conflict in spring 2008, leading to the first strike in the Dutch IT industry, IT firm Atos Origin (8,800 employees in the Netherlands) obviously tries to get rid of the four unions involved in collective bargaining. When Atos Origin only offered a 2% pay increase instead of the industry average of 3.5% and the unions retreated temporarily, the employer made advances to the Central Works Council (COR). The president of the bank employers' association, asked by the COR to mediate, concluded that the COR better take over collective bargaining. Now the unions are planning talks with the various works councils about their position. If they support the COR, the unions envisage that this will be the end of one of the oldest and largest agreements in the IT sector.
(Dutch: AutomatiseringGids, 3 October 2008; http://www.eengoedecaovooratosorigin.nl/)

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The ABVAKABO and CNV Publieke Zaak unions have agreed a new basic collective agreement for worker... [more]

The ABVAKABO and CNV Publieke Zaak unions have agreed a new basic collective agreement for workers in the social services, child welfare and nursery sector. The agreement runs from 1 May 2008 to 1 January 2011 and includes pay increases of 2.5% backdated to 1 May 2008 and then 2% on 1 May 2009 and 1 May 2010. There will be lump sum payments of up to Euro 200 on 1 June 2008 and 1 December 2009 while the end-of-year payment in 2009 will be increased by between 2% and 5.5% and then again by between 2.8% and 8.35% in December 2010. There will also be a 1.25% pay increase on 1 January 2009 that will coincide with abolition of the contribution to the "life course" scheme that allows workers to save towards extra leave.
(English: http://www.epsu.org/r/186; Dutch: http://www.abvakabofnv.nl/cao/bericht/principe_akkoord_cao_welzijn)

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On the eve of the new bargaining round for a road freight transport agreement, the FNV Bondgenote... [more]

On the eve of the new bargaining round for a road freight transport agreement, the FNV Bondgenoten union started a mobilization campaign, including a petition to the employers. The union points at a report produced by AWVN, the employers' service institute, stating that the monthly wages of (international) truck drivers are lagging on average 18% behind those in comparable occupations in a number of Dutch industries, as well as at the shortage of truck drivers. The current collective agreement, covering about 140,000 truck drivers and warehouse staff, expires on 1 October, and the unions, FNV Bondgenoten and CNV Bedrijvenbond, demand a 6% wage increase for one year. In the first bargaining round the employers offered 3% per year, called "totally unacceptable" by the union negotiators as this offer remains even below the expected inflation rate.
(Dutch: http://www.fnvbondgenoten.nl/branches_bedrijven/branches/vervoer/beroepsgoederenvervoer/actie_tegen_beloningsachterstand/; http://www.nieuwsbladtransport.nl/nieuws/id23199-Wegvervoer_op_dieptepunt,_meer_loon_uit_den_boze.html)

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