In order to defend the interests of welfare recipients, they should be organised into a separate union, says Krijn Hamelink, Secretary of the The Hague Welfare Recipients Group of Dutch public sector union ABVAKABO FNV.
Hamelink says the decision of senior citizens’ union ANBO to affiliate to the FNV on 1 January 2009 might be a first step in that direction. “In the long run, it should be possible to transform the ANBO into a union of welfare recipients with separate sectors, just like the industrial sectors of the current unions”.
In Hamelink’s view, a union of welfare recipients should fight poverty and campaign for higher benefits, support other unions’ campaigns and mobilise support from other unions for its own campaigns at the local level.
ABVAKABO FNV. Photo: FNV Chairwoman Agnes Jongerius interviews welfare recipient as part of FNV quality survey