Schiphol not prepared for summer traffic: FNV
The FNV trade union is concerned for the summer because of the crowds at Schiphol during this weekend and last weekend. FNV director David van de Geer believes Schiphol should have intervened much earlier.
"This is only the May holiday," Van de Geer emphasized. "There are limits to what you can handle with the current workforce."
Van de Geer pointed to the enormous workload at baggage handling, which is physically very hard work, he said. "And only one plane has to be delayed and you are already behind. That means that you have to work continuously under time pressure and cannot catch your breath."
The trade unionist calls it an "Olympic achievement" performed by the staff at Schiphol showed this weekend. "That does not only apply to baggage handling, but also, for example, to the employees at the check-in desks and the security guards at security." As many as 70,000 departing passengers are expected on Sunday and they all have to go through the security gates.
Earlier this week, Schiphol intervened by requesting airlines to reduce the number of passengers for this weekend, for example by canceling flights. Van de Geer has the feeling that companies have only responded to this to a limited extent. Only KLM came with a message that dozens of flights were canceled.
For Saturday, the request was to reduce the number of passengers by 3,500. This was "nearly" successful, Schiphol announced. But for Sunday, the aim was to reduce the number of passengers by 5,800. This did not work.
Van de Geer was not shocked by this. He said each flight fewer naturally helps to ease some of the pressure on staff. But overall, the workload is still very high at the moment anyway.
According to him, the staff is not lacking in motivation. But Schiphol is said to have benefited too long from the willingness of employees to soldier through. Now, in the eyes of Van de Geer, the limit has been reached. According to him, a "little bit of extra breathing room" for the employees could help to get through the coming summer. He suggested extra appreciation, better pay and, of course,w solving the staff shortages.
Last weekend, Schiphol was still very busy due to a spontaneous strike among KLM ground staff. There will be no strike this weekend. Van de Geer has the impression that the signal that the employees gave last week has been received by society.
Reporting by ANP