The Labor Inspectorate has imposed a penalty on six baggage handling companies at Schiphol Airport, because they make their employees work too hard. Fines vary in amount, but amount to 65,000 euros per month. The fine ends only when eSufficient machines are available to facilitate the work of all employees.
Companies were already warned in March, but were unable to facilitate the work of their employees. In June, the labor inspectorate issued an ultimatum to companies: if they did not take strict measures within two weeks, the fines would become permanent. It happened today.
Schiphol hoped he could turn the tide. The arrival of 30 lifting aids was announced in August. At the beginning of last month, the airport announced that it had decided to “accelerate” the purchase of 19 baggage robots after a two-week trial period.
These Danish-made robots were developed specifically for Schiphol and will be put into use around this time. The aim is to deploy the robots in the southern baggage hall, where KLM, Aviapartner and Viggo employees process the baggage of passengers departing for destinations within Europe.
Not yet available everywhere
According to the Labor Inspectorate, robots actually make work easier. But the watchdog also notes that lifting aids and lifting robots are not yet available in every workplace. Schiphol is currently testing new lifting tools and robots and expects to have enough available for all employees by April next year.
“Schiphol Airport, together with handling companies, is taking steps to reduce the physical burden on baggage handlers, as also requested by the labor inspectorate,” the airport recently wrote in a press release. The Labor Inspectorate does not want to wait for this, and is now significantly increasing the pressure through fines.
Three instead of six processors
Recently, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Harpers (whose term has now expired) called for the establishment of three baggage handling companies instead of six in Schiphol. Because there are so many of them, airlines have too many options and dealers have to compete with each other on price. This will be at the expense of working conditions.
Like the government, Schiphol is also calling for reducing the number of handling companies at the airport, so they can improve working conditions for employees. There is actually something called License to work outlet. It contains safety requirements and work agreements that handling companies must adhere to in Schiphol.
The fines that the six companies must pay together amount to about 200,000 per month. This autumn, the Labor Inspectorate will regularly check whether working conditions have improved and, if so, to what extent.
High-tech luggage vault
Ultimately, all luggage work must be automated or mechanical. Schiphol Airport is building a new high-tech baggage hold, manager Ruud Sundag said two weeks ago while presenting the half-year figures, but it’s not over yet.
“Lifelong zombie fanatic. Hardcore web practitioner. Thinker. Music expert. Unapologetic pop culture scholar.”