Home Uncategorized Unions accuse KLM of strikes and chaotic weekend at Schiphol airport

Unions accuse KLM of strikes and chaotic weekend at Schiphol airport

Unions accuse KLM of strikes and chaotic weekend at Schiphol airport

After a strike by workers, passengers faced severe delays and canceled flights to Schiphol over the weekend, various unions blamed the chaotic scenes at the Netherlands’ largest airport, the KLM leadership: “[they’re] not striving to become more attractive as an employer ”.

Schiphol prepared for meivakantie and the busiest weekend of the year

As Dutch schools stopped for the May holidays on Friday, Schiphol Airport was preparing for the busiest weekend since the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020. On the eve of the weekend, the Dutch airport has already warned travelers to prepare for large crowds and long queues around meivakantie: “Due to the increase in the number of travelers and the lack of staff, travelers have to prepare for longer waiting times than usual.”

Spokesman Dennis Mueller explained that the airport is preparing to receive the same number of passengers as it usually did before the pandemic. Between April 23 and May 8, an average of 174,000 people are expected in Schiphol every day, and “on really busy days, such as weekends, we can get close to 200,000 travelers,” Mueller said.

The KLM strike has left travelers in dire straits and flights delayed

But things did not go exactly as planned, as the KLM loaders’ strike resulted in the cancellation of flights and the disappointment of thousands of travelers. At 6 a.m. Saturday morning, about 150 ground staff members staged a truancy, meaning luggage on various flights could not be loaded or unloaded.

A few hours later, Schiphol urged all passengers booked for flights before 3pm to avoid traveling to the airport altogether as staff tried to compensate for the delays caused by the strikes. “This is an extreme and very unpleasant measure that Schiphol must take for security reasons,” the airport said in a statement on its website.

The KLM strike was sparked by news that part of the staff’s work would soon be outsourced to Viggo, an outside luggage handling company. According to the Netherlands Trade Union Confederation (FNV), the news was the “last straw” for workers who had already complained about low wages and flexible contracts and were now increasingly worried they might lose their jobs soon.

The Dutch unions accuse the KLM leadership of failure

FNV blamed the strike and the chaos it caused on KLM leadership, telling De Telegraph that leadership lacks its “social antenna”. Other unions have echoed these sentiments: Michael Wallard of CNV Vakmensen said that “management is not making the effort to become more attractive again as an employer. They don’t know how to create space to improve things [for workers]».

While the strike was stopped just hours later, FNV reports that KLM has not yet reached an agreement with staff. Warned various tourist organizations De Telegraph that if these problems and staff shortages at KLM are not addressed quickly, it could lead to further drama and disruptions in Schiphol, especially during the summer.

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