Monday and Tuesday will probably go down in history as two of the rainiest days of the year in the country, a perfect day for the stubborn Dutchmen to opt out of stepping on their bicycle and take the bus, tram or train. However, the regional transport staff chose to go on strike during these two days, leaving many travelers stranded.
The staff had previously demanded a 3% pay raise and improved working conditions and chose these two days to support their claims. A judge in Utrecht officially declared the strike legal on Thursday the 26th of April, after several transport companies tried to prevent it from happening in court.
A local bus driver told broadcaster NOS that “some things have to change” in order for the drivers to continue their work. According to him and FNV, the largest trade union in The Netherlands, the working conditions of the drivers are horrible. To be more specific, the drivers are working under immense pressure because of their tight timetables, as well as the lack of bathroom breaks. The trade union has stated that “solid agreements” need to be made now, setting an ultimatum and immediately announcing their next strike.
Public transport in and around Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague remained relatively unaffected, as the public transport companies in these cities fall under a different pay and conditions agreement. However, some regional transport in Amsterdam by Connexxion was affected by the strike, preventing travelers to get to nearby towns such as Badhoevedorp, Heemstede, and Oudekerk aan de Amstel. Also, many touristic trips to Keukenhof and other attractions in more rural locations had to be canceled because of the events of Monday and Tuesday.
- Metro Editor (Fall 2018)
- Metro Reporter (Spring 2018)