NETHERLANDS - Dutch telecoms firm KPN is the second company within a month to face a strike over pensions.

Union AbvaKabo FNV, the largest union of telecom staff, is currently consulting its members on industrial action, after the negotiations on a new collective labour agreement, or CAO, have broken down.

The main problem is KPN’s plan to raise the pension age to 63.5 next year and ultimately to 65. The unions insist on a scheme which allows retirement at 62.7.

Earlier retirement will however remain possible, because of improvements in the pension scheme, KPN, which has 18.0000 employees, stressed in a statement.

Earlier this month the workers of Shell Netherlands went on strike, because the company wants its employees to begin paying premiums. Moreover, it intended to raise the retirement age of 60 to 65.

The strike ended after a few days. The players agreed that the retirement age of 60 will remain. The workers will start paying 2% premium. Shell will also pay 3% of the workers’ salaries into a ‘levensloop’, or life course, scheme.