Progressive sections in Netherlands demand rise in minimum wage

The demand for setting the hourly minimum wage to EUR 14 Euros (USD 17.04) has been highlighted by the Socialist Party (SP), the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV) and trade union activist forum Voor 14, among others

January 14, 2021 by Peoples Dispatch
Minimum Wage - Netherlands
The Dutch The trade union activist platform Voor 14 has intensified its campaign for a mandatory hourly minimum wage of EUR 14. (Photo via Voor 14)

On Tuesday, January 12, the Socialist Party (SP) in the Netherlands gave a call to increase the hourly minimum wage to EUR 14 Euros (USD 17.04) and called on the parliamentary parties to make strong proposals in its support. There is currently no officially stipulated minimum wage in the Netherlands.  The average hourly minimum wage of an employee of 21 years or above who works 40 hours a week is EUR 9.70 (11.81 USD), as on July 1, 2020.

The SP’s call comes in the wake of parliamentary elections that are due to be held on March 17. Many parliamentary parties including the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), Democrats 66, Christian Union (CU), Labor Party (PvdA) and GroenLinks have endorsed this demand in their manifesto. The SP has requested all these parties to make a law for raising the hourly minimum wage in the first session of the House of Representative after the parliamentary elections.

The SP said in a statement “after years of exploding corporate profits, it is high time people also get a fair income. There is now a unique opportunity to make that possible. A large majority in the House of Representatives says they want to increase the minimum wage. But words are of course not deeds, hence this appeal.”

“The SP wants a minimum wage of 14 euros per hour. This means that the lowest wages will rise, but wages above that will also rise, as will the incomes of people with state pension and benefits. This is badly needed to make up for years of lag. We now call on those other parties: take the first step. Increase the minimum wage by at least ten percent now,” said the SP.

The trade union activist platform Voor 14 (For 14) has also intensified its campaign for a mandatory hourly minimum wage of EUR 14, calling on all political parties to endorse this demand in their election manifesto and bring about such a law. The Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV) has also been actively campaigning in the country on this demand. The New Communist Party of Netherlands (NCPN) had earlier expressed its support and solidarity for the workers’ pursuit of an increase in the minimum wage.

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