Dutch Federation of Trade Unions
|Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging|
The Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (Dutch: Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging, FNV) is an national trade union centre in the Netherlands. In addition to member unions, workers in many sectors can join the FNV directly.
The FNV was founded in 1976 from the merger of the Dutch Catholic Trade Union Federation (NKV) and the social-democratic Dutch Confederation of Trade Unions (NVV). The Protestant Christian National Trade Union Federation (CNV) originally also participated in the talks, but it refused to fully merge into a new union. The federation was founded because of declining membership, due to depillarisation and increasing political polarisation between left and right. The first president of the FNV was Wim Kok, who had been chair of NVV since 1973. He remained its leader until 1986, when he entered parliament for the Dutch Labour Party. The NKV and the NVV dissolved themselves into the FNV at the start of 1982.
The FNV was crucial in the economic recovery in the Netherlands during the 1980s. It supported the so-called Wassenaar Agreement, where employee accepted lower wages in exchange for more employment. During the 1990s the FNV came into a heavy conflict over reforms of the WAO, the disabled act, with the cabinet Lubbers-III, in which the party's former chair, Kok, was vice-prime minister. The proposals were consequently dropped.
In the 2000s the FNV came into conflict with the Second Balkenende cabinet over the AOW, the old aged act, and the WAO, the disabilities act. A huge protest was organized in Amsterdam in 2004. The FNV became a leading member in "Keer het Tij" (Turn the Tide) an alliance of social organizations that opposed the cabinet and became involved in organizing the Dutch Social Forum, the Dutch branch of the World Social Forum in 2004 and 2006.
In 2012 the FNV almost split due to a conflict between the more radical wing and the moderates on the issue of pensions. The split was averted, but led to a complete overhaul of the organizational model of the FNV. In late 2014, the largest three affiliates of the FNV, the Allied Union, Construction and Wood Union, and Abvakabo, dissolved into the federation.
The FNV started out as a neutral union but has a strong social-democratic orientation and strong links with the social-democratic PvdA. It is critical of both government and employers, but is also heavily incorporated in the Dutch pillarist (corporatist) system. Compared to the CNV, the other major trade union centre, the FNV is more leftwing and has more often used strikes, although the use of these actions is rare in the Netherlands in comparison to other European countries.
Although the FNV is formally independent of other organizations there are strong ideological and personal links with the social-democratic PvdA in what is known as the pillarisation. Former FNV chair Wim Kok served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands, between 1994 and 2002. Politicians from other Dutch parties also have their background in FNV, former leader of the Dutch GreenLeft Paul Rosenmöller was one of the leaders of the FNV in the Rotterdam harbours.
The most important function of FNV are the collective bargaining negotiations, on wages and secondary working conditions, it holds with the employers' federations. It also advises government through the Social Economic Council in which other trade unions, employers' organizations and government appointed experts also have seats. FNV also helps members individually when legal action is required. Lawyers of the FNV help members with questions about employment law, pensions, occupational diseases, personal injury, debt collection processes and social security.
The FNV is both a labour union (consisting of different sectors) as well as a labour federation (with affiliated independent unions). Both these sectors and affiliated unions are represented in the FNV parliament, which is directly elected by the membership. The number of seats per sector/affiliated union is determined by their membership in proportion to the total membership of the FNV. The parliament represents the membership, creates "overarching" policy and oversees the board. The parliament also elects the board (except the chairman, who is directly elected by the membership). The current chairman is Tuur Elzinga.
|Name||Represents||Seats in parliament|
|Bouwen & Wonen||Construction and other building trades||4|
|Industrie & Agrarisch||Industry and agriculture||6|
|Media & Cultuur||Printers, designers, packaging industry||1|
|Publiek Belang||Semi-public sector, privatized sectors||3|
|Uitkeringsgerechtigden||Unemployed and disabled||4|
|Zorg & Welzijn||Healthcare||13|
|Name||Abbreviation||Founded||Represents||Seats in parliament||Membership (2008)|
|Association of Contract Players||VVCS||1961||Football players||1||N/A|
|Beauty Union||Mooi||1932||Barbers and beauty parlors||1||N/A|
|Catering Union||Horeca||1940||Hotels, recreation and catering||2||25,045|
|Dutch Community Support Officers' Union||NBB||2014||Community support officers||0||N/A|
|Dutch Police Union||NPB||1946||Police||2||23,000|
|Dutch Union of Journalists||NVJ||1884||Journalists||1||9,000|
|General Education Union||AOb||1997||Teachers||8||77,943|
|General Federation of Military Personnel||AFMP||1992||Military||2||24,684|
|NL Athletes||NL Sporter||2001||Professional athletes (excluding football players)||1||N/A|
|Union||Abbreviation||Founded||Left||Reason not affiliated||Membership (1982)|
|Abvakabo||ABVA-KABO||1982||2014||Dissolved into FNV||248,778|
|Allied Union||FNV-Bond||1998||2014||Dissolved into FNV||N/A|
|Arts, Information and Media Union||KIEM||1998||2016||Dissolved into FNV||N/A|
|Arts Union||Kunstenbond||2016||2021||Separated from FNV||N/A|
|Construction and Wood Union||B&HB||1982||2014||Dissolved into FNV||168,219|
|Dutch Catholic Printing Union||NKGB||1902||1982||Merged into D&P||N/A|
|Dutch Independent Union of Public and Non-Profit Workers||NOVON||1991||1998||Merged into ABVA-KABO||N/A|
|Federation of Maritime Workers||FWZ||1967||2009||Merged into Nautilus||6,368|
|Food Workers' Union||VB||1980||1998||Merged into FNV-Bond||50,384|
|General Pharmacy Assistants' Union||AAAB||1890||1984||Merged into DIBO||2,927|
|General Union of Education Personnel||ABOP||1966||1996||Merged into AOB||41,833|
|General Dutch Printing Union||ANGB||1945||1982||Merged into D&P||N/A|
|Industrial Workers' Union||IB||1980||1998||Merged into FNV-Bond||273,316|
|Printing and Paper Union||D&P||1982||1998||Merged into KIEM||47,438|
|Self-Employed Union||Zelfstandigen||1999||2017||Dissolved into FNV||N/A|
|Services Union||DIBO||1981||1998||Merged into FNV-Bond||70,271|
|Transport Workers' Union||VB||1981||1998||Merged into FNV-Bond||68,790|
|Union of Military Conscripts||VVDM||1966||1996||Dissolved||N/A|