KLM: Need to get out with the unions is great | NOW


KLM and the unions will sit around the table on Wednesday afternoon in an ultimate attempt to agree on austerity in terms of employment. On Thursday, the company must submit a recovery plan to the Ministry of Finance. The blessing of the unions seems indispensable.

“The need to get out is great”, says Kim Bruggeman, who is one of the negotiators with the trade unions on behalf of KLM, to NU.nl. “I don’t know how likely it is that this will work.”

If KLM and the unions are not aligned at the end of the day on Wednesday, the airline will also submit the recovery plan to the ministry. This plan is a precondition for the State aid package worth 3.4 billion euros. Those billions are to protect KLM from destruction.

Reducing costs at the company and austerity of the terms of employment must be part of the plan. “The austerity of the terms of employment has been mentioned in concrete terms,” ​​says Bruggeman.

“And by definition, we make agreements like that with the unions.” So far KLM has not reached an agreement with any of the eight unions.

KLM asks employees to refrain from wage increases

The unions pass the ball to KLM and vice versa. “There is a great tendency to revert to old behavior for what is right,” said the airline. The company proposes that employees who earn up to one and a half times the average earnings forego two previously agreed pay increases.

“We ask KLM employees who earn more than twice the average earnings and on top of that we ask them to forgo variable remuneration and, for example, part of the holiday pay.” A total of 24,000 employees are currently working for the ‘flying company’ KLM. Eleven thousand of them earn more than one and a half times the average.

According to Bruggeman, the works council has made some comments on the recovery plan and these have subsequently been processed. “So that we can take it to The Hague.” This also happens if KLM does not come to an agreement with the unions. “We will submit the plan, but the question is what will Finance do with it.”

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