Employees of the public transport company HTM in The Hague will begin an all-day strike on Thursday, 2 June. Trade unions FNV and CNV have issued an ultimatum to the company behind trams and buses in and around The Hague in order to offer better collective bargaining. HTM didn’t want to meet the requirements, so action is being taken now.
The unions had wanted to strike earlier, but due to final exams, among other things, they chose not to stop working all day until June. FNV and CNV are calling for a 5% wage increase and the retention of purchasing power. HTM announced earlier Wednesday that it will raise wages by 3.1 percent this year, despite the lack of a collective labor agreement.
According to FNV Director Eric Vermeulen, the company has tried to reduce the desire for action among HTM employees. “HTM came with an unpleasant surprise. They want to pay the financial part of their final offer. At the same time, this indicates that they do not take into account the workload of employees and the retention of purchasing power,” says Vermeulen.
HTM previously indicated that it could not meet all the requirements due to the financial consequences of the Corona crisis, when far fewer travelers took the bus or tram due to the advice to work from home. In response, the carrier said it “deeply regrets” the attack.
“Travelers are victims of this,” an HTM spokesperson said. “We have been through the Corona crisis, we need all the travelers, we want to get them back and we depend on them for income.”
The carrier in The Hague has more than two thousand employees and transports approximately 325,000 passengers per day on thirteen tram lines and ten bus routes. The company says it will lose about 250,000 euros if all trams and buses do not run for one day. HTM will not go to court to prevent the strike.
In addition to The Hague, HTM is also responsible for public transport in surrounding places such as Rijswijk, Westland, Zoetermeer, Leidschendam and Voorburg.
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