Dutch trade unions are getting grayer, fewer youngsters are joining
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Dutch trade unions are getting grayer, fewer youngsters are joining

There have been several teachers strikes this year. Photo: Onderwijsgek via Wikimedia Commons  There have been several teachers strikes this year. Photo: Onderwijsgek via Wikimedia Commons

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Dutch trade union federations are failing to recruit enough younger people and 21% of members are now past the age of 65, according to new research by demographics institute Nidi.

The under-45s now account for around 30% of union members while they make up over 55% of the working population, the Nidi research shows. About 25% of workers under the age of 25 have joined a union.

The growing influence of pensioners is having an impact on the themes (such as pension reform and early retirement) which unions tend to focus on, according to Nidi’s Harry van Dalen.

‘To some extent this is the tragedy of unions. You would expect the importance of collective representation to grow at a time of labour market decentralisation, such as flexible contracts and self-employment,’ Van Dalen said.

While research shows both young and old think unions are important ‘that would not appear to be enough to simulate membership,’ Van Dalen said. (DutchNews)

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