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Technical Wholesale: collective labor agreement does not make any progress

Things are not getting along with the Collective Labor Agreement for Technical Wholesale. In fact, since 1 January 2019 there is no longer any collective labor agreement. The FNV has terminated the CLA and there is no CLA anymore. This happened very much against our will, but if one party terminates the collective labor agreement, the collective labor agreement is canceled for all parties. The consequences for current employees are not too bad. Everyone retains all rights and obligations under the current collective labor agreement. However, new employees can be hired on other (worse) conditions.

What will De Unie?

Letters of proposals have been sent back and forth. Our commitment is now known. 4% wage increase, good agreements about sustainable employability such as an 80-90-100 scheme and making agreements about reducing the workload. There we have de Uniemembers previously informed about it.

What does the WTG want?

The employers (WTG) want to extend the daytime mirror, the hours during which employees can work without allowances, to no less than 5.00 a.m. to 23.00 p.m., without compensation. This in the context of the modernization of the collective labor agreement. They also want to abolish the parents' days and everyone, regardless of age, would receive 1% compensation in return. This can only be used for sustainable employability, say training. It can also only be spent in that year. These are the most important themes for the WTG.

Where are we standing right now?

The WTG maintains their positions as described above. We look for openings where no one will lose out. Especially when it comes to the widening of the daytime mirror.

It seems that we have arrived at a roundabout, where no one knows which exit we should / should be able to take. Broadly speaking, there are 4 exits to take;

  1. We are going for the current collective labor agreement with only a wage increase. An impassable exit for the WTG.
  2. We will discuss the widening of the daily mirror without compensation, the abolition of the senior days and propose the wages based on the WTG. For us this is like De Unie not a passable road, because there is no support for it among the members.
  3. We enter into a good discussion together, in which we look beyond the proposals of the WTG and our own proposals. So really modernize the collective labor agreement so that we can (and especially) meet the wishes of the current employee.
  4. Or as a last resort, we take the exit where we come from and no longer have a collective labor agreement at all. This is what De Unie is also not a desirable situation.

For clarity, De Unie explicitly precedes option 3, enter into dialogue and arrive at solutions (a new collective labor agreement). But there we also have the WTG and preferably the others vakbondand necessary. We will discuss this in more detail below.

Where is the real problem now?

This is a tricky one. The WTG indicates that in order to continue to compete with the internet sales organizations such as Coolblue and, the daily mirror must be stretched very far without surcharges, because those other internet companies would not pay them either. (Incidentally, supplements are actually paid there.) Then the problems for the entire sector would suddenly be solved. The question is; is this really the case? I do not think so. The internet sellers do a lot fully automated, from order intake to order picking. The sliding of boxes is therefore fully automated. Almost no human is involved anymore. That is where the revenue model of the internet shops is located. The largest cost item is often the personnel. A number of Technical Wholesalers would also like to go there, to reduce personnel costs. To be able to do this, large investments are required and there is not enough money to make that investment. The margin / profit must therefore be increased.

A different view of reality

Automation and robotization is therefore the goal to reduce costs and thus increase profitability. That also requires people, but with different knowledge and skills. By widening the daily level now without paying supplements, the profits are greater. These can then be used to invest in far-reaching automation, with the loss of many of the current jobs. In short, by handing in the allowances, you as an employee will pay for your own dismissal. This really does not only concern the warehouse employee, this will also be done in the purchasing, sales and administration departments. We are well aware of this, but the question is whether the employee should finance this. What De Unie we are not going to do this in this way.

What can we do then?

Ensuring that employees maintain a good labor market perspective. That also requires something from you in the form of development and training, with a complicated concept: sustainable employability! You do need resources for that, such as time, money and energy. Our proposal is therefore to arrive at a modern collective labor agreement in which the profits are also invested in the employees, so that these employees can invest in themselves. Exactly how we are going to do that is not yet entirely clear. We will discuss this in the management group. We can provide input from that de Unie-members also very good at using. De Unie-members know better than anyone else what is and is not desirable to agree on in the collective labor agreement. We can still use addition in the management group. Peter, one of our executives, says: “It is extremely interesting to contribute to our collective labor agreement. And it also brings you something in your personal development ”. We only hold meetings when necessary. Usually after working hours with a snack and your travel expenses are reimbursed. Are you interested, let us know!

What now?

What De Unie We have now talked long enough about the process and the exchange of views. De Unie we are now mainly talking about the content. It will now really have to be chosen which exit we are going to take at the roundabout. Continuing to drive laps is no longer an option. None of this will contribute to increasing job satisfaction and that is ultimately what we all do it for!

We are busy planning a meeting, but given the holidays this will probably not take place until September 2019. We keep de Uniemembers informed of the developments.


If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you via e-mail or call 06-5252 2010.