Published: 17/02/2020

Members of the IUF-affiliated Federation of Dutch trade unions (FNV) have agreed a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with Heineken against the background of proposed industrial action. Workers have agreed a structural wage increase of 7.5% over two years. In addition, agreements have been made about an acceptable professional regulation and a performance bonus that now also applies to temporary employees – who have been with Heineken for more than 1 year.

Jet Grimbergen, director of FNV Food Industry said “Workers showed the company that they would not agree to any deteriorations in their employment terms and conditions as proposed by the company. By standing together strongly, they have secured a package that does justice to Heineken workers.”

7.5% structural pay increase
The two-year CBA runs from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2022. Workers receive a structural salary increase of 3.75% twice; on January 1, 2020 and as of January 1, 2021. The performance bonus for workers – a maximum of € 500 gross – has been retained and will also apply in the new CBA to temporary employees who have worked for Heineken for more than 1 year.

Healthy to the finish line
In order to be able to reach the pension in a healthy way, agreements have been made for older employees in shifts. From the age of 60 they can work 60% against a payment of 80% with 100% pension accrual up to 1 year before the state pension age. Employees can retire with full benefits from that date.

Proposed lower standards taken off the table
FNV and its members have also managed to prevent a number of proposed deteriorations in terms and conditions. Heineken wanted to adjust the allowance for Saturday and Sunday, introduce individual scheduling and reduce the hours for which this allowance is received. Grimbergen said “These measures would make schedules cheaper and more flexible. We have now been able to prevent that.”
The collective agreement was difficult to achieve. The threat of industrial action was key to securing a better offer from Heineken.

The new CBA applies to Heineken Netherlands where around 2500 people work. In addition to the Heineken breweries in Den Bosch and Zoeterwoude, this also includes soft drinks factory Vrumona and the brewery Brand.