€840 summer allowance for Schiphol workers
From Thursday, June 2, Schiphol employees will get an extra allowance for working in the summer. Each employee will get 5.25 euros per hour. That amounts to 840 euros gross per month for someone who works full-time, Schiphol agreed with trade unions FNV and CNV. The agreement will cost Schiphol 40 to 50 million euros, NOS reports.
Security guards, cleaners, check-in workers, luggage handlers, platform workers, and staff who help passengers with limited mobility, among others, qualify for the summer allowance. It will also be backdated for the past May holiday. The summer allowance runs until the start of September, after which some employees will get an allowance of 1.40 euros per hour. That allowance will run for one year.
The agreement also includes deals on rosters, working hours, and reimbursement for commuting to relieve the workload on exiting workers and make the airport a more attractive place to work. Schiphol, CNV, and FNV hope that this and the extra allowances will help attract additional staff, though the unions worry that it won't fix the staff shortages that caused chaos at the airport since end-April.
The unions also demanded more permanent jobs, but no agreements were made on this front. However, they did agree to meet again about the tendering of work at Schiphol in the longer term.
CNV director Erik Maas said that he sees a change at the airport. "We have raised the problems numerous times, but usually, Schiphol shifted the responsibility to other companies. Now it seems that the penny has finally dropped."
Chaos broke out at Schiphol airport on April 23, the first weekend of the May vacation, and has persisted ever since. Due to staff shortages in baggage handling and security, the airport faced massive queues, passengers missing flights, and even incidents of aggression. Last week, the fire department handed out cookies and juice to people waiting in line because some were fainting from spending too much time on their feet. Due to the chaos, the Cabinet asked Schiphol to give it weekly updates on what it is doing to manage the situation.
According to RTL Nieuws, Schiphol's Airport Operation Center (APOC), which monitors the logistics processes at the airport, expects the crowds to continue throughout the summer. The APOC forecast busy weekends through June, crowds throughout July, and then slight improvements in August.
The forecast did not include Schiphol's action plan to reduce crowds, which the airport released last week. Among other things, Schiphol plans to reduce the number of slots in which a plane can land or take off from about 126,000 to 90,000 from June 1 to August 28. Fewer flights mean fewer passengers and, hopefully, fewer crowds.