Saturday, 13 February 2010

New union: ‘We represent the worker’

Last week, the Nederlandse Vervoersbond (Dutch Transportation Union, NVB) was founded in Amsterdam, partly because it was felt that union federation FNV is not taking a strong enough stand against plans to raise retirement age. The name was chosen because the union starts in the transportation sector, but everybody is welcome, founder Patrick Meeuwisse told NRC Handelsblad: “We say: everybody transports or moves things in their work, so in that sense, transportation union fits all employees.”
Asked how his union will operate: “By listening. I have myself worked on the docks for years, I know what goes on there and what workers want. Over the past years, employees had to do more and more in less time. They can’t take anymore. Employees should again benefit from the protifts that are being made. The FNV is just taking its cue from the PvdA [social-democrat party], we don’t do that, we represent the worker.”
The union has strike fund yet, but Meeuwisse thinks this need not be a problem: “We’re going to do smart actions. You needn’t go on strike to get your way.”
Meeuwisse expects his union will need 3,000 members to survive. “That’s achievable. In the end, I’d like to see the NVB become one of the three largest unions.” Membership costs 10 euro per month for grown-up employees.

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