Unions want Amsterdam fire department commander investigated

Firefighters' gear (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Muffet). (Firefighters' gear (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Muffet))

Trade unions want an independent investigation into statements made by Amsterdam Fire Department Commander Leen Schaap. They accuse Schaap of dereliction of duty due to criticism he made about the corps in the media, Het Parool reports.

Late last month Schaap spoke about the current state of the Amsterdam fire brigade in radio program De Nieuws BV on NPO Radio 1. The organization is led by "the mafia of employee participation", he said. "Participation undermines the organization in favor of itself, the commander is no longer in charge", Schaap said. According to Schaap, there is also discrimination in the corps, and the organization even somewhat resembles a motorcycle gang. "Of course, they are not criminals, but more diversity is needed in the organization."

According to unions FNV Overheid, CNV Overheid, CMHF and BVB, statements like these "only caused the unrest within the corps to flare up". The unions believe that by making these statements in the media, Schaap did not act like a proper civil service and violated parts of his oath of office. "We therefore believe that there should be an independent investigation into the resulting dereliction of duty by the fire brigade commander", according to the unions. 

The unions sent a request for an investigation to local safety office Veiligheidsregio Amsterdam Amstelland.