KLM response to FNV union’s ultimatum


On 21 July, KLM received an ultimatum from the FNV union in response to KLM’s final proposal for a new collective labour agreement for Ground personnel. In its ultimatum, the FNV union says it will take labour action if KLM does not issue a written response before Tuesday, 26 July, accepting the FNV’s demands, some of which are new.

KLM is very disappointed with the FNV’s chosen approach. KLM understands that labour terms and conditions are important to all employees. However, the labour terms and conditions offered by KLM have always been and, under the proposal offered by KLM, will remain excellent compared to other Dutch companies and other airlines. We are faced with the reality that the world around us has changed, and that we too must change. Recent benchmarks indicate that, despite the labour contracts negotiated last year, there is still a big gap between KLM and its competitors. In order to invest, grow and retain employment opportunities, it is therefore essential that we reduce our costs in line with negotiated targets by raising productivity.

Prior to the ultimatum, KLM made comprehensive changes to its proposals in response to issues raised by the unions, formulating a new integral proposal. In addition to various measures raising productivity, KLM’s proposal also includes a pay-out of EUR 1,600, a significantly improved profit-sharing scheme, a structural salary increase effective 1 January 2018, employment protection, reparation of pension cutbacks legislated in 2016, a training fund amounting to millions of euros, as well as permanent contracts for certain temps. KLM is of the opinion that it has presented a balanced proposal, offering growth, employment opportunity and financial benefits for our employees. Any further adjustments to this final proposal would price KLM out of the market and make our growth plans and ambitions irresponsible.

Nevertheless, KLM will consider the contents of FNV’s proposal. Other unions representing our ground personnel have indicated that they see no reason for labour action in response to KLM’s final proposal and that they will present the proposal to their members in neutral terms.