On Thursday, KLM must submit a restructuring plan to meet the conditions for billions in support from the cabinet. The airline can provide a loan of € 3.4 billion to survive the corona crisis. Minister Hoekstra (Finance) has set the requirement that costs should be reduced by 15%, and that KLM employees contribute to this by making a sacrifice on the terms of employment. Broadly speaking, the agreements come down to the surrender of promised salary increases, and for higher incomes the 13th month. Although there is no agreement with the pilots, the plan will be sent to Minister Hoekstra on Thursday afternoon.
The Ministry of Finance reports on Thursday morning in a response that the plan will first be assessed before the second tranche of the support package will be transferred. A first payment was already made at the end of August.
Handing in profit sharing
Sources surrounding the negotiations report that the proposal of the VNV would not meet the cutbacks requirement. in addition, the pilots demanded that the other groups should also surrender their profit sharing for 2019. The agreement with the land unions shows that employees with an income below average will still be paid something there. The VNV states in a response that the consultation with the management is still ongoing.
According to FNV Cabine, ‘fair agreements’ have been made about a temporary reduction of employment conditions, a greatly improved severance payment and a five-year return guarantee. The unions still have to submit the agreements to their supporters.
An agreement was reached with the ground unions on Thursday morning at two o’clock, with a cabin until the early morning hours. FNV director Birte Nelen. She prefers to speak of an agreement rather than an agreement, because the details have yet to be worked out.
“Hopefully the content will be enough to save KLM. Because of Hoekstra’s demands and the associated secrecy, we had to negotiate with our hands behind our backs and with a lock on our mouth, ”says Reinier Castelein, chairman of the union De Unie. “This process doesn’t feel right.”
Unions demanded that cabin crew earning up to once average earnings still improve. According to Nelen, these employees can now look forward to a slight improvement, but not to the extent that has been agreed in collective labor agreements. It has also been promised that staff earning up to one and a half times the average earnings will be spared as much as possible.
KLM is expected to lay off thousands of employees to cut back, the works council previously reported to De Telegraaf. It has also been broadly agreed that employees will stand in the front line up to five years after their dismissal to return to their old position, should the airline go better. That means that once they’ve made a career, don’t start over at the bottom. What this means for the salaries upon return is still the subject of further elaboration. KLM does not expect to return to passenger numbers before the corona crisis until 2024.
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