About the National Federation of Christian Trade Unions in the Netherlands

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The National Federation of Christian Trade Unions in the Netherlands (CNV) is a Christian trade union federation with a support base of over 350,000 members. The organisation is completely independent of governmental and political groups, and membership is open to everyone, independent of race, religion or social background. The CNV is one of the largest trade union organisations in the Netherlands and can be proud of broad grassroots support throughout the country. Eleven trade unions are affiliated to the CNV federation, working in various sectors (such as the manufacturing industry, transport, police, service industries, the public sector, education, health care). The CNV unions protect and advocate employees’ rights in matters related to collective labour agreements, social security and pensions.

CNV and its affiliated unions work for the betterment of society, for the right of people to share in prosperity and well-being, and for the right to live in freedom on the basis of equality. The CNV trade union federation takes these interests to heart, and actively promotes better working opportunities, acceptable working conditions, worker participation, social security, environmental protection, and education and training facilities. This commitment is not restricted to operating within the Dutch national borders. The CNV also devotes much endeavour to improving democratic and social principles on an international scale by supporting trade union federations worldwide. This scope makes the CNV a broad movement that strives for the renewal of society and workers’ emancipation, in addition to the protection of collective and individual interests.

A clear and distinctive course
The CNV trade union federation pursues its own distinctive course. The Christian values of justice, solidarity, and stewardship steer the proposed solutions to the social issues of our time. The CNV translates these values into three objectives: solidarity, participation and sustainability. Solidarity makes no distinction on the grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion or social status. Solidarity reaches further than people’s front doors, the company gates, the borders of the country. The CNV envisions a society that enables people to take part in social and labour processes. Sustainability is all about a balanced economic growth that fully takes into account the interests of future generations.

CNV activities at various levelsTo meet these objectives, the CNV trade union federation is active at various levels. The Netherlands has a lengthy history of dialogue and co-operation. To the CNV, participation in the social dialogue is very important, as it enables us to discuss and influence socio-economic policies and issues concerning work and income. At national level, the CNV participates in national consultative bodies, namely, the tripartite Social Economic Council (SER) and the bipartite Foundation of Labour (STAR).

The affiliated trade unions in the CNV federation are particularly active in the workplace, looking after the collective and individual interests of their members. Besides the negotiation of collective labour agreements, which usually takes place at sector level in the Netherlands, the CNV unions also monitor their members' working hours, safety and health in the workplace, salaries, dismissal procedures, benefits, allowances and pensions. Furthermore, the CNV offers individual members free services such as legal assistance, education and assistance in matters like tax declaration.

CNV and the international context
As mentioned above, the CNV is also active in promoting workers’ rights and the social dialogue in a global context. Accordingly, it participates in the annual conference of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), a UN agency which advocates social justice and international recognised human and labour rights. Furthermore, CNV is a member of the European Trade Union Confederation ETUC and the International Trade Union Confederation ITUC. The ITUC is an worldwide trade union movement that defends the interests of people working in the formal and informal economy. Through membership of these European and worldwide organisations, the CNV promotes a more democratic and social world and, by means of various activities, keeps up with international developments and matters concerning employees. CNV promotes decent work and the participation of trade unions in all chains of worldwide production chain. 

Solidarity across the border
As part of its international responsibility, the CNV runs a specialised department - CNV Internationaal - to promote international solidarity. This department gives financial, technical and moral support to trade unions in approx. 30 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe. CNV-supported unions are democratic and politically independent, we support unions that can actually make a difference. By means of educational activities and campaigns, the CNV raises awareness in the Netherlands on the violation of trade union rights, and leads campaigns for threatened trade union workers elsewhere. 

More information? E-mail, write or phone Send us your E-mail.Write your letter to:CNV, Tiberdreef 4, 3561 GG Utrecht The Netherlandsor: CNV, P.O. box 2475, 3500 GL Utrecht The NetherlandsPhone us at: 0031 30 751 11 00


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