Leading Dutch cargo survey firms have been issued with an ultimatum by trade union FNV Havens.
Industrial action is likely if the employers fail to reopen negotiations for a collective labour agreement (CLA) before 12:00 hours CET, 6 April, the union stated. Separately a coal action plan is being prepared
Around 200 surveyors, mainly operating in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, voted almost unanimously in favour of an ultimatum. Their employers - HD Cotterell, SGS Nederland, Henry Bath, Peterson’s Havenbedrijf and Schutter Havenbedrijf – had earlier declined to discuss the full collective labour agreement package before new rosters were agreed.
Trade union negotiators and the cargo inspectors reject the employers’ approach and instead want them to:
Separately, FNV Havens is assessing the preparedness among dockers with the six leading coal stevedoring companies in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The idea is to come up with a financial emergency chest to the tune of €800M to cushion redundancies in the entire Dutch coal chain as a result of coal-fired power plants being closed for environmental reasons.
Such closures, aimed to meet the COP20 Paris goals, would hit not only power workers, but the whole import supply chain involving around 3,000 workers, so the €800M buffer would work out at US$266,000 per head.
It would we used to supplement pensions and redundancy payments and facilitate re-training and outplacement. It would be similar to a scheme introduced many decades ago when the Dutch coal mines were closed.
“Whereas billions of euros are anticipated to compensate the owners of coal-fired power plants, none of the many political parties that we have consulted has expressed any commitment to cover their responsibilities towards the coal industry workers,” FNV Havens negotiator Cees Bos commented.