Staff members who work for the FNV labor union have threatened the possibility of striking against their own union. FNV manager Judith Westhoek, responsible for negotiating salaries on behalf of the staff, has set a deadline of 10 a.m. on Monday for their demands to be met. Should the demands not be satisfied, she warned that actions will be taken.
FNV is currently spearheading a campaign of strikes, calling on companies to provide substantial salary raises that can counteract the effects of high inflation. Within its own ranks, the union aims to negotiate a three-year collective agreement that gives union workers pay raises ranging from 3 to 7 percent, starting May 1 of this year. In the following years, the pay adjustments will be linked to inflation but capped at a maximum of 5 percent.
Westhoek is not satisfied with this plan. “The union should lead by example. That means correcting inflation and introducing automatic price compensation,” she said. She explained that this is precisely what FNV’s negotiators are demanding from other employers and that FNV’s own employees have been impacted by inflationary pressures too. Therefore, she said she believes it is the right time for their own employer “to put its money where its mouth is.”
In response, the FNV employers’ delegation defended the proposal, writing in a statement that “as employers, we have a responsibility to manage members’ funds carefully and maintain a balanced budget.” They further explained that disagreements are not uncommon even within the FNV and that such conflicts may sometimes lead to strikes or other forms of protest.
FNV staff members may go on their first nationwide strike as early as Tuesday. Approximately 1,700 FNV and affiliated union employees could participate. Westhoek said she expects around 400 workers to register for the strike at the Central Trade Union House in Utrecht, but she stressed that urgent work will still be carried out as usual.
One of the FNV executives involved in the strike at Albert Heijn’s distribution centers has confirmed that the actions at the supermarket chain will not be hindered by internal conflicts within the FNV.
Reporting by ANP
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