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Unions calls on thousands of Dutch metal workers to strike

AMSTERDAM, June 25 (Reuters) - Dutch trade unions called on 10,000 metal workers, including at truck maker Scania , to hold a series of 24-hour strikes starting late on Thursday to push for better pay and terms in talks with the government.

Trade Unions FNV and CNV said workers would hold stoppages across the country, the first beginning at 10 pm (2000 GMT) on Thursday and the final one ending on Saturday morning, after talks on collective labour agreement broke down. [ID: nL5N0Y703N]

Under the Dutch labour system, large scale employers, including the government and private sector companies, negotiate long-term, collective labour agreements with trade unions.

Negotiations on behalf of 700,000 workers, including police and ambulance staff, metal workers, and civil servants stalled in April and May over disagreement about pay and working hours.

Strikes were planned in Rotterdam, Europe's largest port, the southern city of Eindhoven and the Dutch seat of government, The Hague, a statement said.

As part of several weeks of strikes and demonstrations in coming weeks, Dutch police said on Wednesday they plan to temporarily block the route of the Tour de France cycling race, which starts in the Netherlands on July 4, to draw attention to their pay dispute. [ID: nL8N0ZA2IP]

The Dutch economy is finally recovering after years of stagnation and many workers, who usually received annual indexed pay increases, have had their wages frozen as a result of deep government-imposed austerity cuts.

(Reporting By Anthony Deutsch; Editing by dominic Evans)