January 29, 2023

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Collective labor agreements under pressure due to high inflation

Collective labor agreements under pressure due to high inflation

job marketSeptember 6 222217:28author: BNR Web Editor

Due to high inflation, collective labor agreements are under pressure. Employers who agreed to let wages rise automatically in line with inflation now want to get rid of that. An example is the graphic industry. Labor market expert Nick Hinsenfeld (AWVN): “We are in a very exceptional situation. Necessity knows no law.

A boy practicing drawing at work in a building in central Winschoten. (ANP / Huisman Media)


AWVN is a compelling opponent of automatic price compensation. Our motto is personalization. You have to look at specific situations and within those frameworks, business outcomes, profit, turnover, labor productivity, you have to look at what is possible within the sector. You get that. What is appropriate in the economic situation within a sector? You just have to look at it, says Hinsenfeld.

Read also | Inflation to 12 percent, the highest level ever

Unlike the paint industry, inflation is offset at ports. “We love discipline and order,” says union leader at FNV sanctuary Niek Stam.

He continues: ‘It’s always something. I don’t want to underestimate it, because inflation is high at 12 percent. But it’s an exceptional situation and I haven’t heard from employers whistle in the past 15 to 20 years that inflation has been so low,” Stam said.


According to employment rights attorney Robin van Arkel, if employers want to get out of a collective labor agreement, that’s not entirely possible. You can always come to the table. But you need to unite for it. If the guild wants to talk, you can, but if you want to do it unilaterally, you will have to go to court and then have a very difficult task. Then you will have to make it clear that there are unforeseen circumstances that you cannot reasonably require to be bound by this agreement,” says Van Arkel.


According to Hinsenfeld, we must “endure the pain together.” workers and companies. But the government must also do something: ensure that companies are given the space to adequately compensate their employees for energy costs. Hinsenfeld himself also has plans. ‘For example, make room for this in the work-related costs chart. I think that’s one of the most important things. (…) Allowing employers to support the unique situation in which we are now in a tangential way. It actually has an effect.

Read also | NS offers a new collective labor agreement offer: a 5 percent wage increase from July 1 this year

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