FNV softens stance on pay, wants to ‘learn from previous crises’

Freelancer fees are not going up. Photo: Depositphotos.com

The FNV trade union federation said it is abandoning its across-the-board pay rise demand this year, and will not look for a wage increase at all in sectors which have been hit by the coronavirus crisis.

In return, the union hopes employers will offer their workforces ‘persepective’ in terms of restricting job losses and encouraging retraining, board member Zakaria Boufangacha told the Telegraaf in an interview. ‘We want to learn from previous crises,’ Boufangacha said.

The FNV will continue to campaign for moves to reward formal employment, rather than freelancing. For example, the engineering sector, distribution centres and airline KLM use a large amount of agency workers on short-term or zero hour contracts, Boufangacha said.

In particular, he told the Telegraaf, he would like to see call-out and zero-hour contracts banned in pay and conditions agreements.

The FNV had been campaigning for a 5% pay rise this year and an increase in the minimum wage for adults to €14 an hour.  The federation, the biggest union group in the Netherlands, always publishes its new pay demands in September, at the time of the budget.

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