Judge: Youngest Cabin Employees are not the First to Leave KLM

Airline KLM does not have to fire the newest personnel first in the upcoming reorganization plans. The court decided that in summary proceedings brought by the union for cabin crew VNC.


KLM stands for substantial savings due to the corona crisis, whereby it is impossible to prevent layoffs. The airline would prefer a reflection in which layoffs fall in all age groups.

VNC, the largest union at KLM, stated that the so-called last-in-first-out principle was agreed in the collective labour agreement. The union went to court to force the airline to follow this principle.

The court has now ruled against the union. By being the first to fire the newest employees, an employer would deviate from the norm in significant clean-ups.

This is only possible if the collective labour agreement contains well-balanced agreements between employees and the employer, and there is an independent dismissal committee. Such contracts are not included in the current cooperative labour agreement.

The court further notes that with the last-in-first-out principle, KLM needs more layoffs to achieve the same cost savings.

This could lead to a disproportionate loss of younger cabin workers. This could create problems for KLM’s personnel policy in the future so that adjusting the reflection on dismissal is more than purely a formality.

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