Wednesday, 17 December 2008

‘Dutch confederations should merge’

It is high time Dutch union confederations FNV (with a mixed Catholic / Social-Democrat background) and CNV (Protestant) merged, argues editor Ed Groot of newspaper het Financieele Dagblad in an opinion article.
FNV-affiliated unions have close to 1.2 million members; CNV-affiliated unions about 334,000. Jointly, they gained some 9,000 members since last year, but not enough to keep up with rising employment, so union density is dropping. Over the coming two years, rising unemployment will ‘inevitably result in the loss of tens of thousands members’.
“It’s an iron law that structural shrinkage results in mergers”, argues Groot. He points out that many Christian organisations, including employers’ organisations, have disappeared since the 1980s. “Entrepreneurs are pragmatic people”.
Historically, the CNV used to be more consensus-oriented than the FNV, but according to Groot, the difference has largely disappeared. “What is stopping the unions?”
Photo FNV Bondgenoten

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