Travel industry workers could fill staffing gaps at Schiphol this summer
Employees of travel agencies and other travel organizations may be able to assist at Schiphol this summer to help manage crowds. Travel industry association ANVR and trade unions FNV and CNV are looking at the possibilities of quickly getting hundreds of employees working temporarily at the airport.
“Now that it will not be possible to sell trips for the summer months in the coming period, we can deploy the employees to try to keep as many trips as possible,” said Frank Radstake, responsible for labor affairs at the ANVR. He explained that the summer is usually a hectic period for the travel industry because people book many last-minute trips. But due to the limited capacity at Schiphol, those last minutes are not available.
Where the temporary workers can help at the airport depends on where there is the most demand, Radstake said. He knows that the need for personnel is especially high at security, but working there also requires the most training. It is well known that Schiphol often has office workers help out at busy times. So there must be functions where help is possible.
Radstake also said it is likely to be quite demanding on Schiphol’s screening process. It can take weeks before someone can start working at security. The parties, therefore, quickly want to meet with Schiphol to make concrete agreements about the secondment of travel industry employees.
An airport spokesperson said that Schiphol has received the proposal and will forward it to the security and handling companies. Schiphol previously indicated that it could not cope with the expected crowds at the airport due to staff shortages, especially in security and baggage handling. That is also why airlines must cancel many flights this summer.
FNV and CNV are optimistic about the idea, but they find it important that everything is properly arranged. “We think it is important that it is voluntary and that the travel professionals have the choice whether they want to make themselves available for this,” said CNV director Sijtze de Bruine. “And in addition, there should be no competition on employment conditions,” said FNV director Mohamed Gafki. “The employees who the travel companies second at Schiphol must also receive the summer bonus, as agreed with the unions.”
Reporting by ANP