Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Today in Labour History

24 November 1982
Tulip Field, photo Sheila Ellen (Wikimedia Commons)

Polder Model

In the 1980s, official unions, employers and politicians regarded pay rises as potentially dangerous for the Dutch economy. On 24 November 1982, the unions (FNV and CNV) and the employers' organizations reached a historic agreement, the Treaty of Wassenaar, in which the unions undertook to ensure wage restraint in return for a promise by employers to try to create more jobs. The Treaty caused real wages to fall a further 4 procent. The other side of the bargain resulted in an 8 procent growth in the number of jobs. Many of these were low-wage, part-time jobs. Unemployment fell scarcely at all.

Read more? Sjaak van der Velden, 'Strikes behind the Dykes',  in: Strikes around the World, 1968-2005 (Amsterdam 2007)

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