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Schiphol workers worried about handling summer crowds

Internashonal

Schiphol workers worried about handling summer crowds


Schiphol Airport is still struggling with staff shortages, and 88 percent of employees are, therefore, worried about handling the summer crowds this year, trade union FNV found in a survey of 427 employees. The union is worried about the high workload causing high absenteeism and safety risks, NOS reports.

Schiphol security guard and FNV member Chiyo Blumming told NOS that she gets an email almost every day asking if she would like to work an extra shift. “Yesterday, we even received emails that they were going to include tourist vouchers,” she said. Blumming likes her work, but the workload is too high, she said. “You have to be able to cope with missing out on holidays, for example. This week, I was even asked to give up my break. And going to the toilet is also a problem because then someone has to come and cover for me.”

“Slowly but surely, people are becoming hollowed out. We are afraid that they will collapse,” Jaap de Brie of FNV Aviation told the broadcaster. That will place even more workload on fewer employees, resulting in even more absenteeism due to illness. “And the real season has yet to start.”

Two years ago, staff shortages in security and baggage handling led to massive lines at Schiphol and thousands of travelers missing their flights. Baggage handler Tony Roomeijer told NOS that things are not on that level this year, and they’re still handling the pressure well. “But it shouldn’t get crazier because then there will be delays.” Roomeijer says he sometimes comes in at 6:00 a.m., has breakfast at 8:00 a.m., and then works the rest of the day with no breaks.

FNV called on the airport to solve the staff shortages as quickly as possible. “The workload is unsustainable, and if this continues, as far as we are concerned, it will mean canceling flights for the health of the staff.”

Schiphol told NOS that employees’ working conditions and workload have the “full attention” of the airport. “We appreciate that trade unions like FNV continue to monitor this and provide us with valuable feedback based on their findings,” said a spokesperson. “We are in continuous discussions with the unions and all companies active at Schiphol, including security companies, to continue to improve the quality of work at Schiphol.”



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