Were you hoping to catch a train this week? It may be more difficult than you think. Members of the FNV Spoor trade union will go on strike against ProRail from Wednesday to Saturday. As a result, the country can expect a number of train delays this week.
ProRail is a governmental train organization responsible for the maintenance of the national railway network and infrastructure. Its employees include traffic controllers who are responsible for the train timetable. As you can imagine, without a timetable and traffic control, train travel will get very tricky, very quickly.
What’s the strike about?
Members of the FNV Spoor, along with other trade unions such as CNV Vakmensen and VHS Rail Professionals, have been trying to get ProRail to agree to a new labour agreement under which employees would see a wage increase and an earlier retirement.
ProRail’s final offer became an ultimatum — which members of CNV Vakmensen and VHS Rail Professionals agreed to. However, the FNV Spoor trade union is holding its ground. Its members will continue to strike this week.
When and where will the strikes be?
Traffic control employees will strike on different days depending on their location, the NOS reports. Utrecht, Amsterdam, and Alkmaar will be the first to see strikes on Wednesday, followed by The Hague, Rotterdam, Dordrecht, and Roosendaal on Thursday. On Friday, Eindhoven, Maastricht, Arnhem, Zwolle and Groningen will take their turn.
However, regardless of where the strikes will be held, their effects will be seen across the Netherlands. A spokesman for ProRail explains the issue to the NOS, “the Dutch railways are so intertwined that actions at a single traffic control station can already have a major impact on the entire country” — yikes.
In terms of when the strikes will occur, it will be when we most need the trains — the morning rush hour. Officially, the strikes will last between 6 AM and 8 AM. However, train traffic will likely be disrupted until 10 AM as a result.
24-hour strike on May 1
As for May 1, you’ll be lucky to get anywhere on a train. Members of the FNV Spoor will strike for 24-hours starting from 5 AM. The result? No trains for the entire day, according to ProRail.
Where you hoping to hit the tracks this week? What are your thoughts on the strikes? Let us know in the comments!
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