KLM ground crew strike causes delays at Schiphol
KLM ground crew at Schiphol Airport began a strike at 6 a.m. on Saturday, citing poor working conditions and the airlines’ recent decision to outsource some labor to another agency. The strike has created long lines, delays and cancellations at the airport, according to Het Parool.
The ground crew, who are responsible for loading and unloading planes and bringing them to their designated gates, received an email on Thursday that their work would be partially outsourced to another handling agent, Joost van Doesburg of FNV Aviation told Het Parool. This would happen during the May holidays and over the summer.
KLM cited a labor shortage and absenteeism due to illness as reasons for the decision. "The various measures that we have taken to increase the occupancy as quickly as possible are not sufficient," the company said in a memo to the ground staff.
However, FNV said these problems can be traced back to poor labor conditions, low pay and no fixed contracts. “KLM refuses to do anything about that,” the union said. In addition, competition between handling agents at Schiphol contributed to the working conditions and wages, according to FNV.
KLM’s daughter company Transavia already switched to using the handling agent Viggo last year, according to Het Parool.