For this episode, our currently-Maastricht-based editor Charlie Clemoes spoke to Zamaney Menso, Director of the Bouwen section of the FNV (Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging, in English the Building Section of the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions). The FNV is the largest trade union in the Netherlands and its Bouwen section serves architects, as well as construction workers and other people working in the Dutch building industry.
In the last several months, Zamaney and has been working with Charlie and a few fellow Netherlands-based architectural workers trying to unionise the Netherlands’ 10,000+ architects and architectural workers. This work has brought about collaboration with several friends of FA, including previous Breezeblock guest Marisa Cortright as well as Taty Vela from UK architects trade union United Voices of the World Section Architecture Workers and Catherine Koekoek and Veerle Alkemade, hosts of the Dutch-language architecture podcast Respons, each of whom have come to speak at meetings of the new initiative NAA! A flexible acronym standing for, among other things, Netherlands Angry Architects, Naa Het Werk and Nederlandse Architecten Anoniem).
Zamaney is also a member of the board of the Building and Wood Workers International, work for which has recently taken her to Qatar. This work was the more topical prompt for this brief conversation, in which we discuss the current situation in Qatar and possible developments in the aftermath of the World Cup. In addition, we start by discussing our progress with organising architectural workers in the Netherlands.