Netherlands wants better position for aviation personnel

A plane approaches Schiphol Airport
A plane approaches Schiphol Airport. (Photo: @Schiphol / Twitter)

The Netherlands is going to work for a better legal position for Dutch flight staff working for foreign airlines. The Dutch government teamed up with Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and Luxembourg to tackle this problem together in Europe, NOS reports.

Foreign airlines do not always seem to respect the labor rights of their employees, according to the Dutch government. "Airlines based in the Netherlands must comply with Dutch labor laws that provide good protection for employees", Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management said. "That should also be the case for Dutch flight staff working for foreign budget airlines."

This is likely in response to the situation around Ryanair. Ryanair employees in the Netherlands, and in other countries, have been protesting for a better collective bargaining agreement for some time, the latest protest was a pilot strike on Friday. One of the unions' demands is that the Dutch employees fall under Dutch labor law.

On Monday Ryanair announced that it is closing its base at Eindhoven Airport. The airline said that the base will close for the winter, though whether it will reopen in for the summer is not clear. According to union FNV, the employees stationed at Eindhoven Airport were told to move and work from another airport in Europe or be dismissed. 

The government intervention is "good news", Leen van der List of FNV said to NOS. "This is a victory for the employees and trade unions in Europe who have been campaigning for this for some time."