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Unions break Svitzer deadlock with 5% pay increase and CBA for tug employees

17 July 2019

Nautilus members and Svitzer tug employees in Amsterdam and Rotterdam have succeeded in their long-running dispute with Svitzer Euromed over unpaid working hours.

Nautilus International and FNV Havens thrashed out a five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with Svitzer Euromed management to end the dispute during a long day negotiating on Monday 15 July.

Members working on board tugboats in Amsterdam and Rotterdam will receive a pay boost of over 5% this year.

In addition to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) compensation, a five-year wage increase has been agreed: 3% in 2019, 2.5% in 2020 and 1.5% in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Nautilus International official Jos Hilberding said: 'This result shows the success of our campaign.'

FNV Havens official Asmae Hajjari said: 'We have achieved good results. By taking industrial actions our members have enforced a substantial wage increase.'

The result ends months of industrial action and negotiations that trade unions Nautilus International and FNV Havens conducted with the management of the port towing company.

With the new five-year agreement all further industrial action at Svitzer have been cancelled.

Nautilus members took industrial action against Svitzer Euromed 11 times in the long-running dispute over unpaid working hours.

Tug crews wanted Svitzer to reimburse unpaid working hours – an average of 8.5 hours per person per week – which the crew had agreed to in 2014 as a stop-gap measure to help the company out of a financial slump.

With the financial difficulties behind it, the employees wanted Svitzer to adjust their wages to the 49 hours per week worked.

'This new collective labour agreement deal does justice for an important part to the extra hours they have started working since 2014,' said Mrs Hajjari.

In addition to the wage deal, agreements have been made about saving extra-statutory leave days for early retirement and about the safety of using temporary employees.

The CBA will be presented to members of Nautilus and FNV Havens and in the coming days.


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