Last year, 59 thousand working days were lost to strikes in the Netherlands. In nearly four in ten strike days, the disputes concerned collectively negotiated (CAO) wages. Most days were lost in the transport sector.
More days lost to strikes than in 2009
2010 average year for strikes
In the period 2001-2010, more than 200 industrial disputes ended in strikes as employees sought to get their demands fulfilled. More than 600 thousand working days were lost during these strikes. With 21 strikes and 59 thousand working days lost, 2010 was an average year. Expressed as a percentage of actual hours worked, the amount of working days lost to strikes is usually negligible in the Netherlands.
Strikes and lost working days
36 thousand working days lost in transport and storage sector
Over half of working days lost to strikes, more than 36 thousand, were registered in the sector transport and storage. In the sector business services, 12 thousand working days were lost to strikes. Public administration and government services accounted for 8 thousand strike days.
Lost working days by sector, 2010
Half of strikes in CAO sector
In 11 of a total of 21 labour disputes, negotiations in the CAO sector caused the loss of 23 thousand working days. The other disputes concerned compulsory redundancies, reorganisations and individual problems. During these strikes, 37 thousand working days were lost.
More working days lost to longer strikes
One third of strike actions did no last longer than 5 days.
During these actions, 57 thousand working days ((97 percent of the total) were lost, the highest percentage in the past decade. Prolonged strikes were frequent only in 2002, when the number of strike days was significantly higher ((245 thousand). A prolonged strike in the construction sector accounted for most of the lost working days.
Lost working days by duration of the strike
Dick ter Steege and Rob Kuijpers