Union membership falling

On 1 January 2001, 1.8 million people in the Netherlands were associated with one of the three main Dutch trade union federations though membership of a trade union. The FNV is by far the largest of the three central federations, with 1.2 million members. The CNV is second largest with 354,000 members. The smallest is the MHP with 215,000 members.

Compared with the previous quarter, membership of the FNV fell by 7,500, while the membership of the other two federations remained unchanged.

The number of members of all three federations rose strongly in the nineties. The tide turned in 2000 when they all saw their membership shrink, partly because a number of trade unions left the federations.

This was followed by a further decline in the number of members of the FNV and CNV, while MHP membership rose when one of the non-affiliated unions joined this central federation.

Trade union membership

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Wout Jansen Heijtmajer