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Council: no public money to bad employers

15 April 2008 - Amsterdam should not do business with bad employers, such as cleaning companies that fail to pay their workers a living wage. A proposal to that effect was presented today by SP, PvdA and Groenlinks.

The council members have launched their own plan because they are irritated with the lack of initiative on the part of the city government. "I've raised this issue three times now, and each time I was promised that such a policy was under preparation", Emre Ünver (PvdA) told News from Amsterdam earlier this year.

According to the proposal, the municipality should not do business with companies that fail to comply with core labour standards. Companies that offer their staff decent conditions of employment should be given preferential treatment in contracting procedures.

The initiators further want the municipality to employ more handicapped people.

FNV Lokaal Amsterdam, the local branch of the largest trade union federation, supports the proposal. "In sectors such as cleaning and post delivery, the position of workers is often miserable. Money raised by citizens should not end up in the hands of employers who treat their employees badly", spokesman Roel Jansen says.

In a recent FNV study, 58% of municipalities said they apply social standards in contracting procedures, more than twice as many as in 2006. Generally, this regards employment issues. The current proposal is different in that it addresses how employers treat their staff.

Proposal, FNV Lokaal (both in Dutch). Photo: cleaners campaigning for living wage


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