The Netherlands: Heineken workers go on strike

For the first time in 25 years, workers at Heineken breweries in Den Bosch and Zoeterwoude and at soft drink manufacturer Vrumona in Bunnik will stop working on Friday. Before, Dutch trade union FNV and CNV rejected Heineken’s final offer and issued an ultimatum to Heineken that expired on Tuesday. Heineken said it waited for the answer of the other trade unions MHP and De Unie that were still considering the proposals.

Heineken’s offer included a collective wage increase of 1.5% this year and 2% for next year. This was rejected as “far too little” by FNV’s team leader food industry Niels Suijker, as “it remains below the inflation level, which means that people will soon have a lot less left over for groceries or the energy bill.” The FNV is also demanding a better scheme for early retirement, a higher travel allowance and more permanent jobs for temporary workers.

Heineken claims that “these are challenging times” as “Heineken is being hit extremely hard by the pandemic” and is confronted with “historically high cost increases.” In addition, the brewer says it already pays 14% more than the manufacturers of other fast-moving consumer goods.

1,250 people in the three plants are affected.

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