• Police have abandoned plans to halt the Tour de France second stage in protest (Getty) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Dutch police unions have backed down over plans to block the Tour de France in a protest over wages after the government began legal action to stop them.
By
Reuters

3 Jul 2015 - 5:55 AM 

This year's edition of the world's most famous cycle race starts in the Dutch university town of Utrecht on Saturday.

Police had planned to block a bridge over the River Maas in Rotterdam on Sunday, the second day of the 21-stage event, forcing riders to dismount, in order to draw attention to the long-running wage dispute.

Dutch police to block Tour de France over wage dispute
Dutch police will temporarily block the route of the Tour de France cycling race on July 5 to draw attention to their pay dispute with the Dutch government, unions representing them said on Wednesday.

But the unions said on Thursday they had reached a deal with city authorities allowing protesting officers to appear alongside the convoy of vehicles that precedes the cyclists.

"Rotterdam will give us the space to be visible and recognisable in the city so that we can highlight our justified demands," the unions said. "We won't stop the convoy. We will accompany it."

The government sought a court injection on Monday to prevent the protest as originally planned, labelling it an abuse of authority that would endanger public safety.

The Tour ends in Paris on July 26.

Patrol officers have been targeting high-profile sporting events as they seek to negotiate a better collective labour agreement with the government.

In May, a Dutch premier division soccer match was cancelled after police said they could not guarantee security at the event.

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