Trade unions representing firefighters and health and social care workers mobilised across the country on 15 October as part of their continuing campaigns to defend jobs and services. The joint protests called for an end to privatisation, more funding for services and increased pay as proper recognition of the hardship and risks involved in these vital areas of public service. Further action is planned for 14 November.
Firefighters and health workers mobilise
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Health and social care workers took part in over 250 demonstrations across the country on 16 June in a major mobilisation by trade unions and campaigning groups. An estimated 80000 joined the main protest in Paris. Although partly in reaction to the COVID-19 crisis, the mobilisation is part of a long-running campaign by trade unions to secure increased health funding, better pay and conditions for workers, increased staffing and a block on closures and privatisation.
(July 2016) Firefighters have been mobilising around the country and in some regions taking industrial action to defend their right to early retirement. In some regions firefighters have been handing in petitions to local authorities while in addition some firefighters have been dealing with emergency calls only. Firefighters currently have early retirement rights between 55 and 59 and want to resist the demand by employers to move to 60. Read more at FNV (NL).
Members of the ver.di public services union employed by the private healthcare company Asklepios are taking action across the country to try to secure collective agreements. Only a third of the company's 46000 workers are covered by an agreement with most facing unilateral decisions by management on their pay. In some facilities this means employees are being paid EUR 1000 a month less than those doing the equivalent job in a public sector hospital. In some cases workers have rejected higher pay offers from management and demanded that the union be able to negotiate a collective agreement.