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Amsterdammers want social companies

9 July 2006 – Companies that are commissioned to carry out work for the municipality must be required to provide jobs to the unemployed and to offer work placements for students. This is the opinion of a large majority of Amsterdammers, a poll carried out by O+S for News from Amsterdam shows.

According to the poll, 74% of Amsterdammers agree with the view that companies that work for the municipality must be required to offer jobs to the unemployed. There is even broader support for a requirement to offer work placements: 86% agrees with such a requirement.

Municipalities such as Rotterdam and Dordrecht successfully apply the rule that building contractors must use five percent of the contract sum to employ unemployed people. This measure would not lead to higher prices.

After the summer, alderman Ahmed Aboutaleb will present a plan to make agreements about work placements when work is contracted out by the municipality. At present, however, there is no intention to attach social conditions to the hundreds of millions the municipality invests in the new Zuidas location (photo), a spokesperson of Aboutaleb said earlier.

Forty-six percent of Amsterdammers agree with the municipality spending 400 million euro on the Zuidas, whereas 27% disagree.

The O+S poll further shows that 65% of Amsterdammers find that thirty percent of houses at the Zuidas location should be affordable rent, whereas 20% disagrees. The municipality is considering loosening the norm for the share of affordable housing, because Housing Minister Sybilla Dekker refuses to share in the cost of social housing at the Zuidas.

In cities such as London, social organisations have successfully campaigned to make the government attach social conditions to large projects. In Amsterdam, similar campaigns are currently not expected, though there is support for the idea.

See also: Campaigning for a social Zuidas, No social conditions Zuidas millions


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