The allowance for employees who work on Sundays does not have to be included in the new collective labor agreement for supermarkets. As far as the FNV union is concerned, the allowance must be raised, just like the regular wages. Both camps will negotiate a new collective labor agreement on Wednesday.
The previous one expired in June, without a new agreement. Trade unions FNV and CNV and employers’ organizations Vakcentrum and VGL are trying to reach a new collective labor agreement in the near future. It seems almost impossible that an agreement has already been reached on Wednesday. The positions of the various parties differ widely.
For example, FNV wants 5 percent wages to be added to all employees. For young people under the age of 21, an extra amount must be added. The allowances for irregular work, for example on Sundays, can also be somewhat higher.
“I’ve seen the figures for the turnover at supermarkets. They are just fine,” said union leader Mari Martens. “Revenue growth has even been realized. Then there is quite some room to increase the compensation for staff. Moreover, supermarkets can determine their product prices themselves, so they can simply pass on those extra costs.”
Martens does not see the desire of supermarket companies to reduce the surcharges. “Supermarkets are increasingly open until noon and are also starting earlier.
Patricia Hoogstraaten of the Vakcentrum has a more moderate tone. She indicates that employers do indeed want to reduce the allowances, especially the Sunday allowance. “We need to move towards a collective labor agreement that is more in line with the modern age of the 24-hour economy,” said Hoogstraaten, who himself is at the negotiating table.
She also wants to make new agreements about regular wages. It is not clear exactly what adjustments the Vakcentrum is thinking of. “We have that discussion at the negotiating table.” Moreover, it is related to other agreements, for example about pension premiums and supplements. There is also uncertainty among supermarkets about the consequences of the corona crisis for consumer spending patterns.
The collective labor agreement is concluded for about 300,000 employees and will apply to, among other things, regular supermarkets, bio supermarkets and delicatessens.