videoAfter Saturday’s strike, which caused many flights to be canceled, Schiphol warns that it could be very busy at the airport on Sunday. Schiphol says some travelers who canceled their flight have been rebooked for the day.
Hermann Steele and Sami Cape
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It went well early Sunday morning in Schiphol, the airport reported. There are no new cancellations. Due to a strike among staff arranging baggage and cargo, KLM had to cancel 110 flights to and from Schiphol on Saturday. Earlier, a KLM spokeswoman had expressed an expectation that about thirty flights would be canceled on Sunday, but it appears that this is not so bad. However, travelers should consider a “busy day at work”. This has to do with the consequences of the strike, which is still operating and there is maintenance on the runway. A KLM spokeswoman said travelers who cannot travel will be informed of this.
The brutal strike came at the airport’s busiest time in years. On Saturday, 195,000 passengers will travel through Schiphol. This resulted in long queues due to lack of staff. The number of flights is also limited due to maintenance on two runways. The indiscriminate strike means that it is not organized by the union.
The KLM employee strike ended at noon on Saturday. Angry employees spoke to the company’s chief operating officer, Rene de Groot. It is not known if any commitments were made there. According to the KLM management, it was agreed to further discussion in the coming period on how to reduce the workload. Additionally, the topic of job retention will be discussed, she said in a reply.
KLM’s baggage handlers have stopped working due to dissatisfaction with the workload and the company’s move to outsource some of their work. According to KLM, this is necessary due to the lack of personnel. Existing employees fear, among other things, for their long-term employment.
The ground workers stopped working at 6 am. This means that KLM aircraft cannot be loaded and unloaded or moved to and from the gate. This immediately led to flight delays and cancellations.
Don’t come to Schiphol
Around noon, Schiphol came with urgent advice not to come to the airport. For the sake of safety, the influx of more passengers was not justified. In any case, the call applies to people who will be leaving before 3 p.m. on Saturday. Travelers have been advised to contact their airline.
Due to congestion, Schiphol exits of the A4 The Hague – Amsterdam are closed in both directions. The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee stood at the exits to get people back on the motorway.
Because of the chaos in Schiphol, the Eurostar train bound for London was full on Sunday. Second class is fully booked on the first train leaving from Amsterdam (8:28 am). The four trains were then sold out, according to the NS website.
On Saturday, NS noted that travelers are seeking asylum on international trains. A spokesperson for the company said it was not possible to deploy additional trains, for example, to London this weekend.
Despite the massive crowds in Schiphol, according to the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, this did not lead to unsafe situations. No accidents occurred.
The handling branch of KLM is the largest handler in Schiphol and accounts for nearly half of all flights. According to FNV, KLM is the largest, but it also pays employees the least and distributes the fewest permanent contracts. According to the employees, this is only due to very poor working conditions, low wages and flexible contracts. KLM refuses to do anything about it.”
Last year, KLM’s subsidiary Transavia had already switched from parent company to Dutch handling agent Vigo. This made her the eighth agent at the airport. According to FNV, for years, mutual competition between these companies has led to poor working conditions and low wages.
Schiphol passengers flying on KLM, Transavia or EasyJet before 9:00 on Sunday are advised to be in Schiphol 3 hours prior to departure. KLM is looking into the possibility of deploying larger aircraft at shorter distances within Europe, in order to quickly bring more passengers to their destinations at the same time.
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