Monday, 11 October 2021


I showed you a scene yesterday that some of you may 'recognise' as it was based on the famous painting by Rembrandt called The Night Watch. The new version shows several jobs that have been deemed indispensables, especially during the recent Covid-19 lockdowns. People like cleaners, teachers, nurses, bus drivers, child carers and the like.

And yes, indispensable we might be, but that is not shown in our pay packages. Nurses get applause and have to survive on meagre wages. Cleaners do a thankless job and get paid pittance. The Dutch union FNV has now launched something that combines those things: a minimum wage that is higher than it is now. For anybody over the age of 21 it should go up to 14 euros per hour. Right now it is just below 10. 

The mayor of Rotterdam
This is something that I agree with. If we are so indispensable, why not pay accordingly? Yes, my pay is okay and I can get by nicely, but there are scores of people who are struggling, especially in towns and cities where housing is even harder to get by and certainly more expensive. Having to pick between daughter and son to see who gets to join a sports club or even get a new pair of shoes is ridiculous in this day and age!

The first part of this new action was a short gathering in Rotterdam a few weeks ago. There were speakers, most notably the mayor of Rotterdam (Ahmed Aboutaleb) and a famous Dutch writer (Jan Terlouw). It was also quite fun to see which political parties agreed with all this: the Socialist party, the Communist party and of course the union I am a member of. 

The writer is well into his nineties
Anyway, the day was okay, even though it was a bit too chanty for me. But I do agree with the premise that the minimum wage should go up so that everybody has a livable amount of money. 

The new Night Watch shows several jobs that were deemed indispensable. And behind the lady in the red scarf (front and center) there is a bearded gentleman that is actually a colleague of mine. 


  1. Our previous provincial Liberal government has legislated a higher minimum wage, but the Conservatives put a stop to that.

  2. Hari OM
    yes, I was hoping that was what I was guessing at yesterday. Sounds like you are all better organised over there. A similar mention of lifting from ten to fifteen quid minimum, here has fizzled away - and due to new legislation, any gathering of this sort would be deemed insurrection and punishable by imprisonment - yes, that is what the fascist err Conservative govt of Westminister has deigned to place upon all their subjects...errr fellow citizens...

    As a single person, with good budgeting, it is possibe to get by on next to nothing, but for the majority who are supporting more than themselves, as you rightly say, it is far from ideal.

    ties in rather well with my own post today, doesn't it?! YAM xx

    1. Better organised yes, but nowhere near good enough imo. But young people take the 5-day working week, paid holidays etc for granted. Forgetting all the unions and their members who fought very hard for those things.

  3. There have been similar movements to raise the minimum wage here too. Some have been successful but there is still a long way to go.

  4. My government burrows money, America's government prints money. They don't tell people the truth about their huge deficits, yet they make people believe they're indispensable. Where will it go to from here?


Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!