Local 328 members are showing support for their union brothers and sisters in the Netherlands! The Dutch Trade Union Federation, FNV, is an alliance of trade unions in the Netherlands and is currently in a contract battle with Ahold and other grocery markets. During the Stop & Shop strike in 2019, members of the FNV visited and spoke during bargaining in support of Stop & Shop workers.
In solidarity, Local 328 members shared photos displaying a “high five” (this is a symbol they are using in support of their demand to secure a 5% GWI in their negotiations for a one-year deal) and shared videos of support. Read below to learn more about their campaign to secure a better future.
From a Press Release by UNI Global Union:
Commerce Global Steering Committee has issued a solidarity statement in support of FNV and Dutch supermarket workers who are fighting for a fair collective agreement against employers’ attempt to push wages down.“As if withdrawing Covid-19 bonuses is not enough, the supermarket employers in Netherlands are playing with fire by imposing zero percent pay rise for 2020 and pushing real wages down,” said the statement released this week.
The sectoral collective agreement for supermarket workers in the Netherlands expired on 31 March 2020 but negotiations held between UNI affiliate, FNV, and the Supermarket Employers’ Association have ended in deadlock. Meanwhile, the Covid-19 bonus paid by some of the supermarket chains- has recently been withdrawn.
The employers have offered a collective agreement for two years, with a 1.5 % pay rise to be effective from January 2021 and second pay rise of 2.5 % for March 2022. This offer was rejected by FNV because it would freeze workers’ wages in 2020 and reduce real wages given that the inflation rate is approaching 2% and workers will be paying higher social security (retirement) premiums in 2021 which will pull net incomes down.
FNV is demanding a one-year collective agreement and a 5% pay rise, retroactive from April 2020 in order to protect wages from increasing inflation and social security payments, and to appreciate supermarket workers’ dedicated work under risky conditions during Covid-19 pandemic. Less work pressure, a safe work environment and retention of benefits are among FNV’S other key demands.