KLM may not hire Martinair pilots

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KLM is not allowed to take on the pilots of subsidiary Martinair, decided the court in Amsterdam on Friday.The pilots , grouped in the General Interest Piloting Foundation (AVB), will therefore not be entitled to the same rights as their colleagues from KLM, as agreed earlier in their collective agreement.

martinair Holland
Lars Söderström
Wikimedia commons

Martinair pilots had agreed that they could enroll 'horizontally' with KLM per January 1. That way, they would not have to start at the bottom of the ladder, but they would be fitted in, based on certain criteria, such as their years of service and their experience. For the KLM pilots, however, the agreement proved problematic. The higher a pilot ranks on 'experience rankings', the greater the chance of promotion, reported research site "Follow the Money" mid-December.

The KLM pilots fear the influx of experienced staff from Martinair will slow down and interrupt their career.

The collective labor agreement (CAO) for Martinair staff was concluded in 2011 after much haggling between KLM, Martinair, and pilots union Dutch Pilots Association (VNV). The union, consists of both pilots of KLM and Martinair, but KLM employees are in the majority by far.

It was, however, the same VNV that decided, late October, to end the CAO for Martinair pilots. It was a "necessary" measure, stated association president, Steven Verhagen, to "Follow the Money." 'Otherwise the interests of a large group of KLM pilots would be affected by the influx of former Martinair colleagues.'

The Martinair staff felt betrayed by the VNV decision and went to court, grouped in the AVB. They think the union decided too late to end the CAO. The court pointed out to the pilots, Friday, the contract did not include a notice period, so the VNV was in their right dismissing the contract.