Unions object to amateur bus drivers

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buurtbus-syntus-michael-1988Currently more than ten percent of the bus drivers in the Netherlands work without pay, Volkskrant reports.

Volunteer drivers are used on unprofitable routes, or so the companies that employ them claim. On the other hand Labour union FNV Bondgenoten claims that the amateur drivers are putting paid bus drivers out of work.

Egmond Online writes that line 408 from Egmond-Binnen to Egmond aan de Zee currently employs over 40 volunteers. Els Geugies, chairwoman of Vereniging Dorpsbelangen Egmond-Binnen (Village Association Egmond-Binnen), says that volunteers don’t just drive: “We also need to make schedules, fill up on fuel and clean the bus inside and out.”

Last month the city of Rijsen started using people who are on welfare as cab drivers. Hermien ten Bolscher of cab company Taxi Gerritsen told RTV Oost there weren’t happy with the cheap competition: “As it happens we were also unemployed when we started [four years ago]. We have had to make some big investments in cars, licenses and other things. It is wrong that we now have to compete with cab companies that get subsidized.”

It’s not clear from the article whether the unemployed cab drivers are forced to work for free. None of the articles mention if the amateur drivers have received training.

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(Photo by Michael 1988, some rights reserved)

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