The municipal cleaning service workers in the city of Utrecht will go on strike next week to demand a better collective bargaining agreement. The strike will include trash collectors, people who keep the canals clean, and street sweepers, said labor union FNV on Tuesday. The employees will stop working from January 31 to February 6, according to a spokesperson.
It is not yet known how many people will take part in the strike. According to the FNV, it is possible that more municipalities will join the union’s actions in the coming weeks.
Utrecht will be the fifth municipality where workers will take action. Last week, FNV announced demonstrations in Almere, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Tilburg. In the latter three municipalities, the actions will be made up of work stoppages lasting up to three hours. These will be carried out not only by employees of the city cleaning service but also by the BOA street enforcement workers and office employees.
City cleaning crews also went on strike in Almere this week, with about 100 to 150 people participating on Tuesday, the spokesperson said. According to the union, this strike will mainly impact the collection of household waste and the emptying of underground containers.
The contract for municipal officials applies to more than 187,000 employees. The FNV issued an ultimatum in mid-November after collective bargaining with the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) stalled without result.
The municipalities offered a wage increase of 5 percent on February 1 and another 3 percent on April 1, 2024. The FNV, on the other hand, wants a wage increase of 12 percent for one year. The union also demanded automatic wage compensation for inflation in the collective agreement for 2024.