The Hague, Nov 2, 2018 (AFP) - Amsterdam could let prostitutes operate outside the city's famed red-light district in a bid to clean up the area and improve conditions for the women who work there, officials said Friday. Sex workers in their glass-fronted booths in the Dutch capital complain that they are subject to gawping from camera-toting tourists, whose presence also deters potential clients. City authorities are therefore debating a plan to give sex workers licences to work elsewhere in Amsterdam, for example in safe, hotel-style purpose-built brothels.
The plan is being pushed by Amsterdam's first female mayor, Femke Halsema, and has been formally proposed by three of the parties in the city's governing coalition - Groenlinks, the progressive D66 and the Socialist Party. "The idea is that sex workers will have more choices than either working from home or in the touristy area where they have much less anonymity," said D66 councillor Alexander Hammelburg. "Secondly, it will solve the problem of a shortage of legal workspaces for sex workers," he told AFP. The 'Wallen' (Dutch for 'canal banks'), is the inner city's seedy red light district and includes its infamous red-framed windows where prostitutes ply their trade.
Amsterdam is taking a series of steps to ease the pressure from tourism. Some 18 million tourists flock to Amsterdam every year -- more than the entire population of the Netherlands. The city has taken major steps to push back against unruly visitors, mainly groups of young men who roam the Wallen at weekends, on pub crawls or to celebrate stag parties drawn by easy access to drugs and prostitution. It has instituted stiff fines and penalties for breaking public disturbance laws, while in August it announced compulsory clean-up breaks in streets and monitoring of crowds.
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:58:15 +0200
The Hague, Oct 22, 2018 (AFP) - Ryanair's Dutch-based cabin crews Monday announced a last minute 24-hour strike to protest the Irish budget airline's decision to close its base in the southern city of Eindhoven. "Tomorrow (Tuesday) Ryanair's cabin crews at the Eindhoven airport will strike for 24 hours to protest the sudden closure of the base and the way Ryanair treats its employees," the Dutch FNV union said in a statement. "The strike involves 90 percent of 98 cabin crew members," FNV spokeswoman Mariette van Dijk told AFP, adding that 30 employees will hand a petition to the North Brabant provincial government which is a shareholder in Eindhoven's airport. "This is an unnecessary strike by some of our Dutch cabin crew," Ryanair said in a statement, adding "all flights from Eindhoven will operate as scheduled."
The strike particularly supports cabin crew members still in a one-year probation period, whom the FNV said will lose their jobs, as well as other crew members who are not prepared to move to other airports in Europe as a result of the base's closure. The latest strike to hit Ryanair comes as the low-cost operator Monday announced a seven percent dip in first half profits for 2018 after widespread strike action by pilots and cabin crew disrupted operations. On Friday, Ryanair said it had reached agreements with more unions across Europe as it looked to avoid yet more strike action. Ryanair pilots across Europe staged a 24-hour stoppage in September to further demands for better pay and conditions, causing chaos for tens of thousands of passengers.
In July, strikes by cockpit and cabin crew disrupted 600 flights in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, affecting 100,000 travellers. A major issue among staff based outside the company's Ireland base remains the firm's practice of using Irish legislation in employment contracts. Employees say the status quo creates insecurity for them, blocking access to state benefits in their own countries -- including staff in Eindhoven. "Those who work in Eindhoven fall under Dutch law," said FNV spokeswoman Leen van der List. "This means Ryanair must negotiate with Dutch unions" if they want to close the base at Eindhoven, Van der List said. The Irish airline announced on October 1 it would take all four aircraft from Eindhoven, but said it would try to minimise job losses and offer pilots and cabin crews other places in Europe.
An Asian tiger mosquito has been spotted in Eindhoven [North Brabant province], prompting government safety experts to put up more traps around the city in an effort to see if the mosquitoes are breeding. Locals living in a 500 metre [550 yd] radius of the sighting have been sent a letter by the public-safety body, Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit; NVWA), warning about the presence of the mosquito and asking people to empty plant pots that may contain water where the mosquitoes could breed.
The mosquito was caught in a residential area, but it is unclear how it came to be in the hands of the NVWA. The NVWA is going to take steps to eradicate potential breeding grounds. Asian tiger mosquitos have been spotted in Weert, Amstelveen, Assen, and Almere so far this year . The 1st one was found in the Netherlands in 2005.
The tiger mosquito (_Aedes albopictus_) is a native of South East Asia and is thought to spread via bamboo-plant imports and on car tyres. Dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis are among the diseases it spreads.
[This is not the 1st time that _Aedes albopictus_ has been found in the Netherlands. In 2010, eggs and larvae of this mosquito were found in imported used tires in Brabant. In 2013, they were found in Oss, Weert, Montfort, Almere, Lelystad, Emmeloord, and Harderberg but were eliminated (see: ProMED-mail. Aedes albopictus - Netherlands http://promedmail.org/post/20130817.1885955). Although currently present in Eindhoven, Weert, Amstelveen, Assen, and Almere this year , it is very unlikely that _Ae. albopictus_ is sufficiently abundant to permit ongoing transmission of dengue, chikungunya, or Zika viruses should they be introduced by travellers from countries where the viruses are currently being transmitted. Nevertheless, elimination of these mosquitoes is prudent.
One does not know if the _Ae. albopictus_ found in Eindhoven or in Weert, Amstelveen, Assen, and Almere are capable of going into diapause [akin to hibernation. - ProMED Mod.SH] and surviving winter temperatures. The Netherlands has a maritime climate, and winter temperatures may not fall much below 0 deg C (32 deg F). _Ae. albopictus_ can survive in considerably colder conditions, such as those in the Midwestern states of the USA.
The Hague, Aug 22, 2018 (AFP) - Dutch unions said Wednesday they have called for a strike by security staff next month at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, one of the world's busiest. More than 200,000 passengers could be affected by the September 4 strike, according to Dutch press agency ANP. The union announcement follows nearly two months of action by security staff in various parts of to country to push for better working conditions.
Security staff at Schiphol are seeking a three percent salary hike, more flexible working hours and increased security. "Employers have so far refused to meet these demands," unions said in a statement. Schiphol airport said it would appeal to security companies and trade unions to try to reach an agreement before September 4.
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2018 18:00:16 +0200
The Hague, Aug 8, 2018 (AFP) - Budget carrier Ryanair is seeking a court order in the Netherlands to prevent its pilots there joining a wave of strike action across Europe, a union said Wednesday. "The Dutch Airline Pilots Association (VNV) is suprised but also furious about this attack on the Dutch labour rights," the union said in a statement. "Nowhere else in Europe has Ryanair started this type of lawsuits in recent months. The VNV is also surprised because we didn't announce a strike of Ryanair pilots in the Netherlands."
A spokeswoman from the tribunal in Haarlem, near Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, told AFP the court would hear Ryanair's case on Thursday. Ryanair's German pilots heaped pressure on the low-cost airline Wednesday by pledging to participate in a Europe-wide walkout, escalating a row over pay and conditions at the height of the summer tourist season.
Ryanair said it would have to axe around 400 out of 2,400 European flights scheduled for Friday, affecting some 55,000 passengers. Germany will be worst hit with 250 flight cancellations. Europe's second biggest airline has been grappling with staff unrest since it recognised trade unions for the first time in December 2017, in a bid to ward off widespread strikes over the Christmas period. But unions say little progress has been made on their demands for better wages and fairer contracts despite months of talks.