Denk must pay former candidate Sylvana Simons €4,000 for unfair dismissal

Denk must pay former candidate Sylvana Simons €4,000 for unfair dismissal

Political party Denk has lost a €60,000 lawsuit against former candidate Sylvana Simons and been ordered to pay her €4,000 for unfair dismissal. Simons, who had been chosen as Denk's lead candidate for the elections on March 15, quit the party just before Christmas to found her own group, Artikel 1. The founders of Denk, former Labour (PvdA) MPs Tunahan Kuzu and Selçuk Öztürk, demanded compensation from Simons for breaching a secrecy clause in her contract six times, at €10,000 per incident. The former TV presenter, who was employed three days a week as a member of Denk's communications team, criticised the party in an interview in the Volkskrant on December 24 in which she announced the launch of Artikel 1. But a court ruled that her comments could not be viewed as a 'straightforward breach' of her contractual obligations because she was engaged 'in political and public debate'. 'She is free as a former employee to speak critically of the ideas and decisions made by Denk,' the ruling said. The court also found that the secrecy clause in her contract was 'unusually vaguely worded'. Simons was sacked by Denk in January, but the court said she had been unfairly dismissed and ordered the party to pay her €4,000 in compensation and holiday pay. Simons's colleague Ian van der Kooye, who left Denk at the same time to co-found Artikel 1, was also cleared of breaching the secrecy clause, but was ordered to compensate the party for leaving before he had worked his notice period. Denk won three seats in Parliament in last month's election, while Artikel 1 failed to return an MP.  More >

PGG increases offer for AkzoNobel

PGG again raises offer for Dutch paint maker AkzoNobel American paint maker PPG raised its offer for AkzoNobel from €90 to €96.75 a share on Monday, ahead of the Dutch firm’s AGM which takes place in Amsterdam on Tuesday. PGG chief executive Michael McGarry also issued ‘one last invitation to the AkzoNobel boards to work with PPG on creating value for shareholders and other stakeholders of AkzoNobel’, the company said in a statement. 'Our revised proposal represents a second increase in price along with significant and highly-specific commitments that we are confident AkzoNobel’s stakeholders will find compelling.' AkzoNobel has twice rejected PGG’s advances and last week announced that it would hive off its special chemicals unit and using the proceeds from the sale to boost its dividend. The besieged Amsterdam paint and coatings group said the sale of the chemicals unit or an IPO will take place within 12 months and that project teams are already in place. In a reaction to the renewed offer, AkzoNobel said that it 'will carefully review and consider' the proposal.  More >

Woman, 89, jailed for killing husband

Denk must pay former candidate Sylvana Simons €4,000 for unfair dismissal An 89-year-old woman has been sentenced to four years in jail for killing her 88-year-old husband at their home in the east of Amsterdam two years ago. The woman, named as Antonia M, was found guilty of killing her husband by stabbing him in the chest after 63 years of marriage. She claimed in court he died as the result of a fall and could not explain his injuries. However, the man had a knife wound and police found a knife with blood from the victim in the kitchen. Evert Bieshaar was in poor health, incontinent and rarely left the house, and the couple had few visitors, the court was told. M, questioned in court, said that she was almost entirely responsible for her husband’s care. The public prosecution service said in court that despite her age, she should be jailed for four years for the murder. ‘I will never go to jail,’ M said after hearing the sentencing demand. ‘At my age, I won’t get out alive.’  More >

More teenagers penalised for using fake ID

More teenagers punished for carrying fake ID More teenagers are being penalised for using false ID to try to get into bars and nightclubs, new figures show. Last year 428 youths were sanctioned by Halt, the youth justice administrator, for offences involving fake ID passes, compared to 350 in 2015. Halt said the increase was partly due to better co-ordinated action between police, municipalities and the catering sector. It also said that most teenagers caught with fake ID are given a warning. A survey of 2000 youths carried out for Stemmingmakers found that one in five admitted to having used borrowed or forged ID passes at some time. Under Dutch law everyone over the age of 14 is obliged to carry ID in public.  More >

Jumbo sidelines unions in pay talks

Denk must pay former candidate Sylvana Simons €4,000 for unfair dismissal Supermarket group Jumbo has pulled out of talks with the unions on a new pay deal for distribution centre workers. The talks have been deadlocked for some time and Jumbo has now decided to make a deal with the company works council instead, the company said on Monday. The unions are demanding a pay rise of 2.5% but Jumbo is unwilling to pay more than 1.5%. The unions also want more permanent positions for workers on temporary contracts. Most of the 3,000 distribution centre workers are on flexible contracts. Deals on pay and conditions made between unions and employers are known as a CAO, or collective labour agreement. CAOs apply automatically across all workers. Agreements made with the works council are known as an AVR and each worker has to vote whether or not to accept it. ‘The most important aspect of an AVR is usually pay, so workers nearly always vote in favour,’ lawyer Evert Verhulp told NOS Radio 1. The company claims most workers do not feel represented by the unions while the unions say the company is acting like a dictatorship and putting workers’ rights back decades by sidelining them.  More >