KLM boss Pieter Elbers will go to the Ministry of Finance with a restructuring plan on Thursday. According to KLM’s works council (or), the entire company has been screened and various plans are on the table to reduce costs. An agreement with the trade unions is still lacking.
Minister Wopke Hoekstra previously promised EUR 3.4 billion in aid to help KLM through the crisis. He did attach a number of conditions to the emergency package, including a reduction in costs and a restructuring. The deadline was set on Thursday October 1. The complainants are of the opinion that the minister has partly taken the chair of the KLM board with his package of requirements.
Negotiations are currently underway with unions about the submission of employment conditions and a social plan. Several unions accuse KLM of a lack of urgency. On the other hand, certain trade unions negotiate in an old-fashioned way with a mentality of what, hear what, according to sources around the negotiations, although there is currently not much to achieve. The fact that employees were paid through the wage subsidy from the government even in times of crisis would somewhat mask the seriousness of the situation.
Or director Dario Fucci is happy with the support for KLM, but acknowledges that Hoekstra’s attitude has caused resentment within KLM. This is because the minister directly interfered with KLM’s operations by coming up with strict requirements. Fucci labels this position as ‘unorthodox’, but also adds that KLM is in dire need. “I understand very well that there has to be something against the emergency support. But I also understand that, for example, the trade unions are struggling to impose guidelines in this way.
Fucci thinks most unions will also agree before Thursday. According to him, a breakthrough is more often forced at KLM when the pressure is highest. It is possible that the negotiations with a number of unions will take a little longer, but that does not prevent Elbers from going to The Hague with a plan.
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