A lack of attention to working conditions in the baggage basement at Schiphol has had back-breaking circumstances for employees.
Ranked as the third-busiest airport in Europe, Schiphol transports a grand total of 71.1 million passengers a year, according to statistics in 2018. But what comes along with so many people? Lots and lots of bags! 💼
With over 53 million items of baggage making their way through the airport per year, and, with over 2,000 employees working in their so-called baggage basements, you might think the working conditions are well, workable.
According to the NOS, representatives at the Dutch airport are finally taking an interest in neglected working conditions.
This comes after employees in baggage handling proposed to strike earlier this year — which seems to have finally gotten their attention! 🤦♂️
Low costs and high competition
Schiphol Airport has become notorious for its desire to keep costs low and competition high. This has led to difficulties with baggage handling companies, and problems with working conditions as a result.
There are currently five different baggage handling agencies in operation at Schipol, and each one is competing with the other to get the most cargo. It’s a bit of a free for all down there!
With so many bags, one might think that there would be lifts in operation to transport them. Well, according to the NOS, those lifts are, in fact, the backs of workers.
Employees working in baggage handling at Schiphol have reported over 500 incidents of work-related injuries over the past fourteen years, a number that is toppling.
This is no surprise, seeing as though employees are regularly hefting around baggage weighing up to 23 kilos or more due to broken lifts and dodgy conveyor belts.
To make matters even worse, there hasn’t been an inspection by the Dutch Labor Inspectorate in the past 12 years.
Schiphol Operations Director, Hanne Buis, said about the situation; “I feel that in my stomach and it’s terrible.”
As of now, Schiphol is going to take steps toward bettering the current harsh working conditions of workers, who are (literally) carrying all that baggage!
What do you think of the conditions at Schiphol? Tell us in the comments below!