Amsterdam Canal Tours company Stromma refuses to pay over 2000,- in wages
Daria worked for Stromma for almost 2 years. And she did a good job, despite disrespectful behavior of managers and errors in the commission system. But when she indicated a month in advance that she would leave and start another job at the beginning of March, she got a nasty surprise. She was taken off the schedule for february and therefore missed out on more than 2000 euros of wages! That, of course, is both illegal as well as unacceptable. That is why together with her we demand: payment of the wages to which she is entitled, clarity about commission earned and correct payment thereof, and respect for all Stromma employees.
In April 2018, Daria started as location manager at Stromma with a zero hour contract. In short, that means that you sell tickets for boat tours and look after the shop from which they are sold. It is minimum wage work, and she has rarely received wage increases in this time. Even though during that time Daria was told repeatedly that she did her job (very) well. When she brought this up with a team leader, she was intimidated to hear that she should be happy that she had a job. Reference was made to her foreign background.
Disrespectful management & unclear commission
Disrespectful management marks the attitude of two of the managers. For example, Daria was told that she must have had a “sad life” when she stayed at work a little longer because she was going to do something with colleagues after work. She was also called a control freak because she liked to keep everything tidy. In addition, inappropriate comments were made to working mothers. One, for instance, was asked if her current boyfriend was the father of her child. Another, if her child was planned or not. Other women were told at the start of a shift that they looked rather sleepy (at 8 am!), and that if they would just get up at 6 they would look fresh at the start of the working day. Finally, some managers are rumoured to keep an eye on employees with cameras. Senior management either does not know or simply does not act on this.
In addition, the commission system was recently changed. It used to be that you got paid more if you sold more, now you only get commission if the specific store where you worked achieved its target. As a shop assistant you often work in different stores, so it doesn’t get any easier. Not at all if the system also makes errors on top of this. Not all days worked appear as registered on the system, and recently an entire store’s commission was missing.
Breach of privacy leads to nonsense dismissal
The location managers have a “google group” among themselves. With this, among other things they exchange shifts and keep each other informed if the wage slips are not right again. When Daria informed her managers that February would be her last month, she also sent a message about this in the google group to her colleagues. In it she stated that she had worked well with most people, but also that some of them made her have to work more because they were slacking off. She mentioned no one by name.
The previously disrespectful team leader took this as an excuse to immediately remove her from the schedule stating the message was not in accordance with the values of the company. First of all, we have seen this e-mail and we have not seen anything to warrant such action. Secondly, this was not a public statement and it was not sent through Stromma’s communication channels either. Moreover, the same manager did not even behave according to generally accepted standards of decency with his aforementioned behaviour. But whatever she has written or where, no laws or regulations justify a kind of instant dismissal here (which is what this comes down to). In addition, how did the team leader get the message that Daria sent? The rumoured camera surveillance is apparently not the only breach of privacy at Stromma. In short: this is a nonsense dismissal.
A transparent trick
To top it off, Stromma is now trying to hide behind new legislation, which is actually intended to give workers with flexible contracts more rights. Since the beginning of this year, if you have a zero hour contract you can cancel your contract with a 4-day period. But Daria had clearly stated both verbally and in writing that she still wanted to work in February. Yet Stromma is now trying to pretend that she had used that 4-day period. This is a transparent trick, and we will not be fooled.
As Daria had been working at Stromma for more than 3 months, she was entitled to be scheduled according to the average number of hours she had worked in previous months. And if that does not happen, then she is entitled to the money she would have earned as if she had been scheduled. Because Daria worked an average of five and a half days a week, this amounts to a substantial sum even with a minimum wage: more than 2000 euros. And then we are not even considering the commission that she and her colleagues have missed, the amount of which remains unclear.
That’s why we demand with Daria:
– Payment of the salary due to Daria for February
– Clarity and the correct payment of the commission to Daria and her colleagues
– Respect for the employees of Stromma
If these demands are not met, we will be forced to take action.
*Daria is a pseudonym