Sunday, 4 April 2010

Cleaners’ strike: Update 4

The ongoing cleaners’ strike is now the longest strike the sector has seen in 65 years. “This is really exceptional, such a long strike. Across the sector, this is the longest strike since the 1933 strike in the fishing sector,” strike expert Sjaak van der Velden of the International Institute for Social History said. “And what for? For just two dimes more, employers’ organisation OSB is letting the negotiations for a collective agreement brake down.”
Last week, unions, OSB and contractors Dutch Railways and Schiphol Airport announced that all parties want to arrive at structural improvements in the sector. Negotiations have not yielded any results yet, however.
Meanwhile, cleaners are holding large-scale actions at the offices of major contractors on an almost daily basis. Actions at unemployment agency UWV (photo) and banking giant ABN AMRO will have a sustained character, like previous actions at Dutch Railways and Schiphol, Ron Meyer of FNV Bondgenoten told newspaper AD.
On Monday, the Support the Cleaners Committee was launched in Amsterdam. Members presented acting Mayor Lodewijk Asscher of Amsterdam with a mop and a copy of the union’s white paper on the cleaning sector on Wednesday, and hold flyer actions at the UWV headquarters and other locations. Find the committee’s website here. Sympathisers in Den Bosch have announced actions at the office of the OSB.

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