Dutch cleaners threaten with actions during nuclear summit

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 19, 2014
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Dutch cleaners will take surprise actions in the forthcoming days, possibly also during the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) to be held here from March 24 to 25, the Dutch trade union FNV Bondgenoten said on Tuesday.

In early March FNV stepped out of the negotiations with cleaning employers association OSB on a collective cleaners' agreement.

According to the OSB, FNV's pull-out was unnecessary, because "after months of negotiations, proposals were ready for more employment, professionalization, future-proof pensions and a broad approach to absenteeism".

However, the trade union had given the OSB an ultimatum to meet their demands, which ran out on Tuesday. Talks between the employers and the union were stopped after differences of opinion on the waiting days for sickness, wages and travel expenses.

While employers especially thought the salary demands by the union of "up to 10 to 15 percent more" were too high, the union thinks the employers are "punishing" sick employees by not paying their salary in the first two days of sickness. Moreover, a large proportion of the 150,000 cleaners in the Netherlands lives in poverty, 69 percent to be precise, says FNV.

The trade union did not give any details on the actions and deliberately called them a "surprise". Last Thursday the union already organized a protest in Amsterdam.

With actions during the NSS the cleaners will definitely get attention. Over 50 world leaders, 5,000 delegates and 3,000 journalists will visit the event in The Hague. 

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