Trade Union Doubts Feasibility of KLM Recovery Plan Deadline

The largest cabin crew union at KLM openly doubts whether the airline can offer a recovery plan to the Ministry of Finance before the October 1 deadline.


In the negotiations on a social plan for personnel to be laid off, held Monday, barely progress has been made, according to the Dutch Cabin Personnel Association (VNC).

KLM is in the middle of negotiations with unions about cutbacks and the conditions for mass redundancies of staff.

The airline received 3.4 billion euros in support from the cabinet, but in exchange for those loans and credit guarantees, The Hague demanded that KLM structurally reduce costs by 15 percent. As a result of the 33,000 jobs, between 4,500 and 5,000 will disappear.

The VNC has agreed to a wage sacrifice by staff according to the government’s demands, albeit gritting their teeth because the union was not involved in talks with the cabinet. The union is now demanding that KLM set up a return scheme for staff who leave, should things improve after the corona crisis.

In such a return scheme, the airline only wants former employees to start at the bottom of the salary scale, and the VNC is against that. The union also demands a higher severance payment than KLM currently offers.

“All in all, no progress has been made in these consultations and, in our opinion, this is a missed opportunity to take steps and hit nails,” the union said. The penultimate meeting will take place on Wednesday, according to the VNC.

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