Strikes


Strikes
   In 1903, railway employees participated in an unprece dented and successful general strike in solidarity with the striking workers in the Amsterdam harbor. The government of Prime Min ister Abraham Kuyper reacted by introducing bills forbidding civil servants to strike, the Dutch Railway Companies being state owned. Socialist and syndicalist attempts at a general national strike there after failed because of hesitant leadership and discord among differ ent sections of the trade unions. During the German occupation in 1940–1945, the illegal Com munist Party in Amsterdam proclaimed a February Strike in 1941 among the civil servants in protest against the treatment of Jewish citizens. The strike met with a positive response among the trades and industries in an impressive, though unsuccessful, spontaneous action of resistance against Nazi oppression. Three years later, in September 1944, after the battle of Arnhem, the Dutch government in exile in London made an appeal to the railway workers to strike. The strike was nationwide, but the German transport system was scarcely af fected by it. The German blockade of inland navigation, however, se riously hindered the transport of food. Given the scarcity of food, the strike and the blockade caused a famine during the winter of 1944–1945, especially in the towns in Holland.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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