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Week-long garbage strike planned in Utrecht

Cleaning service workers in the municipality of Utrecht city are set to go on strike next week to demand better collective bargaining agreements. The strike will include garbage collectors, people who keep the canals clean and road sweepers, the trade union FNV said on Tuesday. A spokesperson said the employee will be out of business from January 31 until he’s on February 6.

It is not yet known how many will join the strike. According to FNV, more municipalities are likely to join union action in the coming weeks.

Utrecht becomes the fifth municipality where workers take action.Last week, FNV announced Demonstrations in Almere, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and TilburgIn the latter three municipalities, the action consists of a business suspension lasting up to three hours. These are carried out not only by urban cleaning service employees, but also by BOA road enforcement officers and office employees.

City cleaners also went on strike in Almere this week, with about 100 to 150 people on Tuesday, a spokeswoman said. According to the union, the strike will primarily affect household waste collection and underground container emptying.

Municipal employee contracts cover more than 187,000 employees. FNV issued an ultimatum in mid-November after collective bargaining with the Dutch Association of Local Governments (VNG) stalled without results.

The local government has proposed a wage increase of 5 percent on February 1, 2024 and another 3 percent on April 1. FNV, on the other hand, wants a 12 percent wage increase over the course of the year. The union also called for automatic wage compensation for inflation in the 2024 collective bargaining agreement.

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