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Utrecht Mayor Jan van Zanen's officers may disrupt...

Dutch police threaten to disrupt Tour de France in pay row

The police union says its officers want a new collective bargaining agreement and will disrupt stages 1 and 2

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AFP) — Dutch police are planning protests to disrupt the first two stages of the Tour de France in the Netherlands on July 4 and 5, their union, which is demanding better pay, said on Wednesday.

Police will carry out a protest bike ride in Utrecht shortly before the start of the race on July 4 and briefly stop competitors on a bridge in Rotterdam the following day, the NPB union said in a statement.

“Police unions will on Sunday, July 5 protest on the Erasmus bridge in Rotterdam for a decent new collective labor agreement,” the union said.

Police will carry out traffic checks on the “advertising caravan” that precedes the cyclists, thus also stopping competitors.

“The checks will stop when it’s clear from live broadcasts in several European countries that the Tour de France cyclists have stopped because police are taking action for better working conditions.”

Police will also cycle the Utrecht stage on Saturday starting less than hour before the riders begin the stage.

Dutch police have previously said they would stage protests after their negotiations with the government over their collective labor agreement ground to a halt.

Police want a pay raise of 3.3 percent, higher overtime pay and a cash bonus for undergoing a reorganization of the police force.