The airline is on a state infusion due to the corona crisis and is losing € 10 million a day. KLM is technically bankrupt because air traffic is largely halted. Currently only one third of normal passenger numbers are carried. There is still no prospect of a stable recovery, forcing KLM to intervene deeply.
Topman Pieter Elbers reports in an internal staff letter on Thursday afternoon that it is ‘social’ and ‘financial’ not to be sold to implement the wage increase, because the salaries are raised by the taxpayers through the NOW scheme. It involves hundreds of millions for a period up to the fall, say insiders.
In addition, salaries must be reduced from average to 20% on the basis of agreements with Minister Hoekstra (Finance). Discussions on this between the KLM management and the trade unions will start on 25 August. There must be a restructuring plan in October, a condition to be able to collect the loans. “Failure or late completion of these conditions has major consequences for KLM. This is not a threat, but a reality, ”says Elbers.
Sense of reality
The 2.5% wage increase was agreed in a collective labor agreement last year. Consultations have been held with the KLM trade unions in recent weeks, but they do not want to waive the increase so far. “This position of the unions shows little sense of reality, because KLM is on the brink of collapse. We simply cannot afford the € 50 million of the pay rise. The costs must go down, not up, ”said an insider.
The move taken by the KLM management took the FNV trade union by surprise. “We are considering a step to court,” Jan van den Brink told De Telegraaf. He disputes that KLM has run out of money. “The company must become smaller, moreover, the staff must be spared by up to one and a half modal under the terms of the loans. This is the wrong signal. ”
As a result, KLM does see the promised 2.5% as a building block to achieve the wage sacrifice of up to 20% for employees who earn three times the average.
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