The situation is getting more complicated at Amsterdam-Schiphol airport, where an influx of travelers combined with a lack of personnel has created a chaotic situation since the end of April. Over the past few hours, the security services have been totally overwhelmed and, on the evening of Sunday, May 22, fights broke out, leading to a stoppage of work for the employees responsible for surveillance. They had been threatened by travellers.
A manager of the company CTSN, in charge of airport security, detailed, Monday, May 23, a situation “very dangerous”, which totally degenerated and endangered, according to him, the employees and the public who were massed in front of the checkpoints and worried about missing the take-off. Noting the closure of several queues, passengers got angry and came to blows among themselves, then with the police. It seems that some travelers were able to escape checks before boarding.
On Monday, airport management admitted to having been confronted with ” an incident “ which required the intervention of the police, because security agents felt threatened. “We will do everything we can to ensure that passengers can take their flight”, she said. On Monday, however, the wait before boarding still seemed just as long. And, on Twitter, images of a passed out security guard were circulating.
“Making jobs more attractive”
Following the incidents that occurred at the start of the Easter holidays, resulting in a strike by baggage handlers, the boss of the airport, Dick Benschop, had promised negotiations with the private companies responsible for checks, surveillance and baggage handling. Faced with a glaring lack of staff, they are trying, in vain, to convince their employees to work overtime. The normal framework at Schiphol, all sectors combined, is 5,000 employees, and there would always be a shortage of at least 10%. The unions have been denouncing for years a strategy of privatization, which, according to them, could only lead to the current situation.
“Today we had long conversations with the management and the companies, in order to make the tasks at the airport more attractiveexplained on Monday, Joost van Doesburg, of the FNV union. This hasn’t yielded any results yet. » According to this official, the recent episodes will not help to motivate candidates, who can find an equivalent salary in other branches of activity, where the pressure is also less strong. The Covid-19 pandemic has also accentuated the exodus of staff to sectors which were also experiencing a traditional lack of manpower.
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