Strikers To Resume Work At Heineken Plants
ZOETERWOUDE, Netherlands (AP) _ Striking Heineken employees agreed Thursday to go back to work after a judge ordered them to end their blockade of the Dutch brewer’s two main plants.
The Dutch Federation of Labor had been blockading the brewer’s plants for nearly a week and production had been halted, forcing Heineken to import 88,000 barrels of beer from Spain, Italy and France to supply the Dutch market. The union members were in a wage and work-rule dispute with Heineken.
A judge in The Hague ordered strikers to lift their blockade Wednesday night.
″Striking workers at Den Bosch and Zoeterwoude will be back at work at 7 a.m. tomorrow,″ Heineken spokesman Koos Woltjes said Thursday afternoon.
Non-striking employees resumed work at the largest plant Wednesday after the court’s decision, and production was nearly back to pre-strike levels, according to Woltjes.
The strike cost the company ″millions of guilders (dollars) a day,″ according to Woltjes.
The FNV is one of three unions representing workers at Heineken plants. The other two unions had already signed a labor accord with Heineken, and did not join the strike.
An FNV spokesman said it wasn’t yet clear whether the union will resume negotiations with Heineken.
The company has offered a wage increase of two percent spread over two years, plus a one-time one percent payment for this year.
The FNV says it has not yet decided whether to sign the labor agreement with Heineken.
The union had been demanding a 2.5 percent rise over one year and a four- day work week.