Travellers could again face problems at Schiphol airport from the end of this week as the May half term holidays start and ground crew and baggage handlers mull wildcat strikes for more staff and better pay, the Parool reported on Wednesday.
While pay rises and bonuses have helped end the shortage of security staff, baggage personnel and others who work behind the scenes are experiencing mounting problems, sources told the paper.
Last year, Schiphol was beset by staffing problems, leading to strikes and cancellations.
The unions themselves will not organise strikes as part of agreement reached last year, the Parool said. However, ‘we have noticed that wildcat strikes have an impact,’ Jaap de Bier from the FNV-affiliated air travel union told the paper. ‘The impact was gigantic and the result was very quickly clear. I do not rule out wildcat action like last year.’
Schiphol expects to handle 66,000 travellers a day this May, around 8,000 a day up on the same period last year.
Meanwhile, travel agents have called for the May holiday to become an official two-week break, given the number of schools which now close their doors for a fortnight.
Officially, the May half term is a week but schools have the option of adding more days because of the number of holidays which occur around this time. The official break this year is April 29 to May 7.
Frank Oostdam of travel agency lobby group ANVR told news website Nu.nl that if Kings Day, on April 27, was also included in the May break, parents would not have to take so many days off work to cover for school closures.
In return, the summer break, ‘which already feels too long to some parents’, could be made shorter, he said.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation