Universiteit Leiden

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Strikes the result of high inflation

Employees are laying down their work in various sectors, such as regional public transportation and Dutch postal service PostNL. Inflation appears to be increasing dissatisfaction about working conditions, thinks Barend Barentsen, Professor in Labour Law at Leiden University. ‘It's the final straw.’

Barentsen believes the number of strikes will not be as high as before, but it is more noticeable since most strikes are currently taking place in the public sector. ‘When employees of a cookie factory lay down their work, you don't notice it as much as a strike at a public service provider.’ 

According to Barentsen, employee dissatisfaction can also be seen in the fact that people decide to change jobs or the high rate of sickness absenteeism. Add to that the labour shortages in many sectors, and it becomes necessary for employers to break with traditional patterns, according to the professor. ‘A new collective labour agreement with an increase of 2.5 per cent spread out over a three-year period is something different than an increase of 10 per cent all at once.’
Employers are also still getting used to the labour shortages, believes Barentsen. 'In their search, employers tend to not look further than healthy men with a Dutch background, but who knows, people with different characteristics and backgrounds might also be a good fit.’

You can read the full article (in Dutch) in het Nederlands Dagblad. 

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