There were 17 strikes in the Netherlands last year. As a result, 22 thousand working days were lost. In just over half of cases, the actions were only short and relatively few working days were lost in 2011. Most working days were lost in the transport sector.
Half of working hours lost to work stoppages
Last year, 6 of the 17 strikes were short actions, lasting less than a day, e.g. extended lunch breaks or picketing protests. Due to these actions, 11 thousand working days were lost, half of all working days lost to strikes. The share of short actions has not been this high in a decade.
The amount of working days lost to strikes in the past half decade was highest in 2008, predominantly due to actions in the transport sector.
Working days lost due to strike actions by duration of the action
More than one third of working days lost in transport and storage sector
Most working days were lost in the transport and storage sector, where 4 strike actions, mainly in public transport in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague accounted for 8 thousand strike days. The sector manufacturing industry came in second place with a total loss of 6 thousand working days; 21 thousand people downed tools, mainly workers in sheltered workshops.
Working days lost due to strike actions by sector
Most actions oppose projected cutbacks
In 7 cases, strike actions were motivated by collective bargaining disputes, resulting in 3 thousand working days being lost. In another 7 cases, other types of conflicts induced strike actions, often called by trade unions opposing projected government cutbacks; 18 thousand strike days were lost.
Last year, 14 of the 17 strike actions were called by trade unions. These actions accounted for almost all strike days. The other three were wildcat strikes.
Dick ter Steege en Rob Kuijpers